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Full text of "Stories of starland"

A 



i, 




m MAUY PROCTOBI 
POTTER & PUTNAM COnPANY."^ 



'«««-■ S"-«!ls«te- 




LIBRARY OF CQNGRESS. 



Chap.Q_B.4tepyrigIit No.. 
Shelf_iP.9-<D 



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 



■^w^^t^g^^^g^s^^^ ^^^#^^ 



./-•■ 




x\^ .\^ 




RICHARD A. PROCTOR. 



STORIES OF STARLAND 



BY 

/■ • i 

MARY PROCTOR ! 

{Daughter of late Richard A. Proctor) '. 



NEW YORK 

POTTER & PUTNAM COMPANY 

LONDON 
a W. BACON & CO., LiMiTEp 



1 2689 



Copyright, 1898, 



POTTER & PUTNAM COMPANY. 




TWO COPIES RECEIVED. 



THE MERSHON COMPANY PRESS, 
RAHWAY, N. J., U. S. A. 



DEDICATED 
TO THE MEMORY OF MY BROTHER 

HARRY. 



The heavens declare the glory of God ; and the 
firmament sheweth his handiwork. — Psalms. 



PEEFACE. 

This book has been a labor of love fi'om the beginning 
to the end, and I have thoroughly enjoyed conversing 
with my little friends Harry and Nellie. Now that the 
book is finished, I leave it with regret. 

It is impossible to give all the authorities for my 
legends of the stars. Many were told to me by my 
father when I was a little girl, or I found them among 
books in his library, which is now scattered far and wide. 
Others are from Grecian mythology, Japanese folk-lore, 
Hindoo legends, while some of the American Indian 
stories were found in musty volumes of the Bureau of 
Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution. 

As for the descriptive astronomy, among my authori- 
ties are Professor C. A. Young, Professor Barnard, 
Agnes M. Gierke, Professor R. S. Ball, Schiaparelli, 
Flammarion, Professor Todd, Mr. Lowell of Flagstaff, 
Ariz., and my father, the late Richard A. Proctor. 

With the kind permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Go. 
I have been allowed to use the following selections : 
" Why the Stars Twinkle," by Oliver Wendell Holmes ; 

7 



8 PREFACE. 

^^ The Evening Star," by Longfellow ; " Lady Moon," 
by Lord Houghton ; and " The New Moon," by Mrs. 
Follen. The editor of St. Nicholas has kindly given me 
permission to include the poems " The Four Sunbeams," 
by M. K. B.; " Estelle's Astronomy," by Delia Hart 
Stone ; and " Seven Little Indian Stars," by Mrs. S. M. 
B. Piatt. I am indebted to the editor of Child- Study 
Monthly for the little poem " Is It True ? " by Morgan 
Growth. The poem on " The Solar System " is taken 
from the Youth'' s Companion^ with the kind permission of 
the editor. The verses about '' Wynken, Blynken, and 
Nod " are so familiar to every child that my book of 
Stories of Starlai^d would seem incomplete without 
this poem by Eugene Field. The illustration of a Part 
of the Milky Way is from a photograph taken by Pro- 
fessor Barnard at the Lick Observatory. Mr. Percival 
Lowell has also very kindly allowed me to make use of 
his excellent illustration of the Canals of Mars, taken 
from Todd's " New Astronomy," published by the 
American Book Company. 

I now submit this little book to my young readers, 
sincerely hoping its pages may inspire them with a re- 
newed interest in the wonders of Starland. 

Mary Proctor. 

New York City, June, 1898. 



CONTENTS. 



Light F.W. Bourdillon, . 


. 13 


The Story of Giant Sun. 




Ancient Stories of the Sun— Heat of the Sun— Distance of the Sun- 
of the Sun— The Sun in the Days of Its Youth, . 


-Size 
. 13-33 


On the Setting Sun, . . . Sir Walter Scott, 

The Four Sunbeams, . . . M. K. B., from St. Nicholas, . 

The Sun 


. 29 
. 31 
. 32 



The Family of Giant Sun. 

What Is a Planet?— Story of Planet Mercury— Story of Planet Venus, 34—45 

Estelle's Astronomy, . . . Delia Hart Stone, . . . .47 

Venus Milton, 47 

The Evening Star, . . . Longfellow, 48 

Mercury, Baker, . . . . . .48 

A Ramble on the Moon. 

Story of the Moon — Story of the Man in the Moon— Story of the Woman 
in the Moon— Story of the Toad in the Moon — Scenery on the Moon — 
Hindoo Legend, 49—67 

The New Moon, .... Mrs. Follen, 65 

Lady Moon, Lord EovgJiton, . . . .66 

A Legend, Taken from tJie New York Tribune, . 67 

The Planet Mars and the Baby Planets. 
Story of Planet Mars— Story of the Baby Planets, . . , . 68—79 

9 



10 CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Stoey of Jupiter and His Moons, 

Story of Jupiter — Jupiter as Seen through a Telescope — The Moons of 
Jupiter — Eclipse of Jupiter's Moons, .... , 80 — 93 

Jupiter, Moore, 92 

A Lesson in Astronomy, . . Youth's Companion, ... 92 

The Giant Planets. 

The Planet Saturn — The Planet Uranus — Difference between a Planet 
and a Star — Discovery of Planet Neptune, .... 94 — 103 

Is It True ? Morgan Growth, from Child-Study 

Monthly, 102 

Comets and Meteors. 

Story of Comets— Story of Meteors— Story of a Shooting Star, . 104—114 

Starlight at Sea, .... Amelia B. Welby, . . . .113 

Stories of the Summer Stars. 

Legends of the Great Bear— Stories of the Great Dipper — Story of the 
Dragon — Stories of the Northern Crown — Story of the Lion — The 
Milky Way — A Swedish Legend — Legend of the Swan — Meeting of 
the Star-Lovers, ... 116—146 

The Stars and the Violets, . . 145 

The Nights, Adelaide Proctor, . . . . 145 

The Calling of the Stars, 146 

Story of the Winter Stars. 

Story of the Royal Family— Story of the Fishes- Story of the Pleiades- 
Story of the Seven Little Indian Boys— Why the Stars Twinkle- 
Flowers of Heaven— Number of the Stars— Distance of the Stars— 
What Are the Stars Made of ?— Our Island Universe, . . 147—179 

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, . Eugene Meld, .... 177 

Seven Little Indian Stars, . . Mrs. S. M. B. Piatt, from St. 

Nicholas, . . . . .178 

Why tlie Stars Twinkle, . . Oliver Wendell Holmes, . . .179 

" God Bless the Star !" 

"God Bless the Star!" 181—186 

Crossing the Bar Tennyson, 185 

Ye Golden Lamps of Heaven, . Doddridge, 185 




< i 

P3 i 



STOKIBS OF STARLAND 



LIGHT. 



Night has a thousand eyes, 

And the day but one ; 
Yet the light of the bright world dies 

With the dying sun. 

The mind has a thousand eyes. 

And the heart but one ; 
Yet the light of the whole life dies 

When love is done. 

— F. W. BOURDILLON. 

THE STORY OF GIANT SUN. 

*' Sister, come here and talk to me. I am 
so tired of being alone." 

His sister Mary at once closed her book, and 
took a chair beside Harry's couch. Poor little 
Harry was not like other boys. He could not 
play and run about as they did, for he was a 
cripple. All the long weary days he had to lie 
on a couch which was placed under the shady 
trees during the warm summer season. He had 



14 STORIES OF STARLANB. 

learned to love the flo\Yers and trees, and the 
bright blue skv overhead, and his sister often told 
him pretty stories about them. She was just 
thinking of telling him one now, when he said 
gently : 

ANCIENT STOEIES OF THE SUN. 

" Sister, you have told me so many stories of 
the flowers. I wish you would tell me something 
about the sky. I have been looking at it for 
such a long time, watching the little white clouds 
floating across it like boats with silver sails ; and 
then I tried to look at the bright yellow sun, but 
it dazzles my eyes. Won't you tell me about it, 
and where it goes in the evening when we cannot 
see it any more ? Is it always ready in the 
morning to give us light ? Is it ever late, do you 
think ? What would we do if it forgot to come 
round the edge of the earth and give us light ? " 
he continued anxiously. 

'^ There is no fear of that," said his sister Mary, 
laughing at tlie idea. '' But a long time ago 
people asked the very same question. In those 



THE STOKY OF GIANT SUN. 



15 



days they thought the earth was flat, and sur- 
rounded by an ocean without end. The Hhidoos 
supposed that the earth rested upon four ele- 
phants, and the four elephants stood on the back 
of an immense tortoise, w hich itself floated on the 




EARTH SUPPOSED TO BE FLAT. 



surface of an endless ocean. It was thought that 
the sun plunged into the ocean when it disappeared 
in the evening, and some people said they heard 
a hissing noise when the red-hot body went under 
the waves. 

'' But if the sun dropped into the water each 
evening, how did it happen that next morning 
it was seen again, as hot and bright as ever ? 
The people could not tell why, so they said 



16 



STORIES OF STARLAND. 



that during the night the gods made a new 
sun to be used the next day." 

'^ That must have kept them busy," said Harry, 
laughing. 

** The good people made up another story 
about the sun, so that the same one could be 




ANCIENT IDEA. OF THE EARTH. 



saved each night. Just as it was dropping into 
the ocean, a god named Vulcan, who had a great 
boat ready, caught it, and all night long he 
paddled with the blazing sun. Next morning 
he was ready at sunrise to send the sun 
up into the sky in the east. He threw it with 



THE STORY OF GIANT SVl^. \1 

SO much force that it would go very high, and 
when it came down on the other side in the 
west, he stood ready to catch it again." 

** But where does the sun really go to at 
night ? " asked Harry curiously. '' I should like 
to know." 

HEAT OF THE SUK. 

" We live on a big round globe called Earth," 
replied his sister, ^' and we travel round the sun, 
which gives the earth light and heat. The sun is 




ILLUSTRATING DAY AND NIGET. 



like a great lamp in the sky, and when you face 
the lamp you see the light, but if you turn away 
from it you are in darkness. As the earth goes 
around the sun, it whirls around like a huge top ; 



18 STORIES OF STAKLANB. 

first one side and then the other is turned to the 
sun and gets sunlight, and so we have day and 
night. If the sun, or the lamp in the sky, went 
out and stopped shining, all the light would go 
out on the earth, and we would 
miss its heat as well. 

''It is so hot that if it kept 
coming nearer and nearer until it 
was as far from the earth as the 
pretty bright moon, the earth would 
get warmer and warmer and melt like a ball of 




wax." 



^' Just like Nellie's doll, then," said Harry, 
'' when she left it on the grass the other day. 
The sun was so hot that day that when Nellie 
picked up her doll, she found that its wax face 
had melted and the eyes had fallen in. So the 
sun did that," continued Harry, laughing heartily. 
'' Poor Nellie! I must tell her that the next time 
I see her." 

^' I can show you something else to prove how 
hot the sun is," said Mary, as she picked up a leaf 
from the ground. ^'Just wait a moment while 



THE STORY OF GIANT SUN. 19 

I go into the house and get a magnifying- 
glass." 

In a few minutes she returned, holding the 
glass in one hand and the leaf in the other. She 
held it so that the sun shone directly upon the 
glass and passed through it onto the leaf. In 
a few seconds the leaf began to smoke, and then 
burn, until a little hole could be seen. 

Harry was so surprised that he had to try it 
for himself, and he looked forward with much 
delight to a visit from his cousin Nellie. 

'' Won't I have a lot to tell her?" he said to 
his sister : '' all about the sun's melting her doUie, 
and how to make the sun burn a hole through 
a leaf. But the sun cannot be very far away, can 
it ? " he asked. 

DISTANCE OF THE SUN. 

'^ Yes, it is very far away," replied Mary. '^ If 
a railroad could be made from the earth to the 
sun, and a train started going at the rate of 
a mile a minute, it would take days and weeks 
and years to get there. 



20 STORIES OF STABLAND. 

'* Let me see," said Mary, making a little note 
in her note-book. ^' There are sixty minutes in 
an hour, and twenty-four hours in a day, and 
three hundred and sixty-five days in a year. 
Why, Harry, do you know it would take that 
train nearly one hundred and seventy-five years 
to get there ? " 

** It must be very far away, then," said Harry, 
" more than a hundred miles." 

*^ It is more than a million miles," said Mary. 
'* It is nearly ninety-three millions of miles away. 
Now let us suppose you want to go to the sun. 
You would call at the railroad office and ask for 
a ticket to Sunland. The officer in charge would 
appear a little surprised, because that is quite 
a long trip. Then he would look up the cost of 
the journey in his book, and hand you a mileage 
book, saying: ' Sir, if you want to save money on 
this trip, you had better take a mileage book with 
you, costing two cents for every mile. Even 
then your fare will be nearly two million 
dollars.' " 

'' Then I would say: ' Dear sir, I cannot go, as 



THE STORY OF GIANT SUN. 21 

I know my sister could not spare all that money. 
I think I would rather walk to the sun/ How 
long would it take me to walk there, supposing 
I could walk ? " asked Harry thoughtfully. 

*^ Dear, you would have to keep walking a very 
long time before you would ever get there. Sup- 
posing you walked four miles an hour, and ten 
hours a day, and kept this up for hundreds of 
years, you would be more than six thousand years 
on the way. When you reached the sun you 
would be footsore and weary, and as old as the 
hills." 

Harry laughed heartily at the idea, and thought 
again of poor Nellie's doll and the melting wax 
running like tears down its cheeks. 

*' But suppose,'' he asked, his eyes bright with 
excitement, '^ someone fired a big cannon at the 
sun. Would the cannon-ball ever get there ? " 

Again Mary brought out her little note-book, 
and, Avith rather a look of surprise, she said : 
" Supposing the cannon-ball went as fast as it 
could go, it would take nine years to reach the 
sun, and the sound of the explosion would reach 



22 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

there in fourteen years. The cannon-ball would 
come along first, and five years afterward, if you 
were living on the sun, you would hear the sound 
made when the cannon was fired off. 

** It takes time for me to walk from the garden 
to the house, so it takes time for sound to travel 
from the earth to the sky; and sound travels only 
one-fifth of a mile in a second. Do you remem- 
ber the thunderstorm the other day, Harry, that 
frightened you so ? " 

'^ I shall never forget it," said Harry, tremb- 
ling at the thought. You said, ' Count slowly ' ; 
and I counted one, two, three, four, five, up to 
fifteen." 

'' Then I said : ' Don't be afraid, brother; the 
storm is three miles away.' " 

^' Yes, I remember," said Harry; **and I 
thought you were very clever, and wondered 
how you knew." 

'' It was not so w^onderful, after all, was it ? " 
said Mary, laughing. 

''Now tell me, sister," said Harry. ''Sup- 
posing I had a very long arm^ and stretched it 



THE STOET OF GIaSJ SUX. '23 

out toward the sun, and touched it with the tip of 
my little linger. What would hcippen ? " 

•• You would Rfver know that you had burned 
it. for the pain of burning would be one hundred 
and fifty years going along your littlf finger, and 
down your giant arm nearly ninety-three millions 
of miles long, before it at last reached your bniin. 
Then it would let you know tliat one liundred 
and fifty years before you had burned your little 
finger." 

Harry stretclied out his little arm in tlie direc- 
tion of the sun. and. louking at it critically. 
lauo'hed at the idea of a oiant arm millions of 
miles lono\ 

'' It is too short by several inches," said his 
sister, reading his thoughts, and joining in the 
laugh. '• It would take hundreds and hundreds 
of little arms as long as yours, would it not '} 
Now what else do vou want to know about the 
sun •? " 



24 



STORIES OF STARLAND. 



SIZE OF THE SUN. 



'^ If you are not very tired, sister," said Harry 
coaxingly, *^ I should like to know how large it is. 
Is it as large as the earth ? " 

'' Ever so much larger," replied Mary. *^ It is 




so large that if it were cut up into a million parts, 
each part would be larger than the earth. If we 
could weigh the sun in a pair of giant scales, it 
would take over three hundred thousand globes 



THE STORY OF GIANT SUN. 25 

as heavy as the earth to make the scales even. 
If the sun were hollowed out, and the earth placed 
in the center, there would be room for the moon 
as well. Now the moon is thousands of miles 
from the earth, and yet the edge of the sun would 
be thousands of miles from the moon, as you will 
see in the picture. If a tunnel could be made 
through the center of the sun, and a train started 
going at the rate of a mile a minute, it would 
take six hundred days for the train to reach the 
other side of the tunnel. If this same train went 
around the edge of the sun it would take five 
years. A train going around the earth would 
take seventeen days to complete the journey." 

'* But suppose we went around the sun in a big 
steamer, like the one Uncle Eobert came over 
in ; how long would that take ? " asked Harry 
curiously. 

'' Only fifteen years," said his sister, laughing. 
** If you had started when you were a little baby 
you would still have five more years to travel 
before you would get back again to the starting- 
point." 



26 



STORIES OF STARLAND. 



^^ Then the sun must be very large," said Harry 
thoughtfully. ''Let us call it GIANT SUN. 
Has it always been as large as it is now ? " 



THE SUX IX THE DATS OF ITS YOUTH. 

'^ Ever so much larger," replied Mary. 
" Once upon a time it was a ball of glowing 
gas reaching as far as the path of the last planet. 




THE SUN AXD PLAXETS FORMIXG OUT OF STAE-MIST. 

The ball whirled around rapidly and the outer 
edge cooled. A ring formed and separated from 
the ball and whirled around on its own account, 
until it broke up into fragments. One of the 
frao;ments drew all the others toward it, and 



THE STORY OF GIANT SUN. 27 

another ball was formed, but quite a small ball 
this time, called a planet. Just like the central 
ball, the planet kept whirling around, threw off 
a ring, the ring broke up into little 3)ieces, and 
the pieces, coming together, made a little moon. 
The planet is Neptune, and it still has only one 
moon. Meanwhile the ball in the center kept 
whirling around, other rings formed other planets 
with their attendant moons, completing the family 
of Giant Sun. 

*^The Sun is in the center and his planets circle 
around him. Next to him is playful little 
Mercury, then beautiful Venus, then our own 
planet Earth. Beyond it, we find ruddy Mars, 
the four hundred and fifty baby planets, giant 
planet Jupiter, the ringed planet Saturn, and 
the last two planets, Uranus and Neptune. All 
these planets are under the control of the sun, 
and cannot get away from him." 

'' What is the sun made of? " asked Harry. 

^' Of iron and copper and silver, and many 
other things we can find on earth ; but the sun is 
so hot that they are melted together into a mass 



28 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

like glue. This is the center of the sun. Out- 
side is a shell of bright clouds, from which rosy 
flames leap to a height of thousands of miles 
above the surface of the sun. All around the 
edge of the sun, and reaching millions of miles 
beyond it, is the pearly light of the corona like 
a crown of glory. The pearly corona fades away 
into a soft beam of light." 

^' How beautiful the sun must be!" said Harry, 
as he listened attentively to his sister. '' But is it 
all alone in the sky, and does it not have any 
little stars to play with ?, " 

*^ It is not at all lonely," said Mary, laughing 
at the idea of the stars as playthings for Giant 
Sun, "• and is kept quite busy looking after its 
large family of planets. I will tell you about 
them to-morrow, or nurse will scold me for tiring 
you. And now, good-by, my dear. Don't forget 
all I have told you about Giant Sun." 

'' Forget ! how could I, sister ? It is better 
than any fairy tale I have ever heard. Giant 
Sun ! Why you have told me enough to keep me 
thinking all day and all night. Here comes Nellie. 



THE STORY OF GIANT SUN. 29 

Hello ! Nellie, come here and let me tell you all 
about GIANT SUN, and how he melted your 
dollie for you the other day." 

'' Melted my dollie ! " said a pretty little 
golden-haired girl, as she tripped like a little fairy 
up the garden-path. ^^ So he melted my dollie, 
did he ? I should like to see him do it again ! " 
Tears came into her eyes at the thought of her 
sad experience. Since then, however, a china 
head had replaced the melted wax, and Nellie's 
fickle little heart had been comforted. So the 
tears soon vanished in a smile as she showed her 
new treasure to Harry. 

ON THE SETTING^ SUK 

Those evening clouds, that setting ray, 
And beauteous tint, serve to display 

Their great Creator's praise ; 
Then let the short-lived thing called man, 
Whose life's comprised within a span, 

To Him his homage raise. 

We often praise the evening clouds, 

And tints so gay and bold, 
But seldom think upon our God, 

Who tinged these clouds with gold. 

— Sir Walter Scott. 




GIANT SUN AND LITTLE EARTH. 



I 

THE STORY OF GIANT SUN. 31 i 

THE FOUR SUNBEAMS. ^ 

BY M. K. B. 

Four little sunbeams came earthward one day, 
Shining and dancing along on their way, 

Resolved that their course should be blest. 
" Let us try," they all whispered, " some kindness to do, 
Not seek our own pleasuring all the day through, 

Then meet in the eve at the west." 

One sunbeam ran in at a low cottage door, 

And played " hide-and-seek " with a child on the floor, 

Till baby laughed loud in his glee, 
And chased with delight his strange playmate s,o bright, 
The little hands grasping in vain for the light 

That ever before them would flee. 

i 

One crept to the couch where an invalid lay, i 

And brought him a dream of the sweet summer day, j 

Its bird-song and beauty and bloom ; , 

Till pain was forgotten and weary unrest, \ 

And in fancy he roamed through the scenes he l®ved best, i 

Far away from the dim, darkened room. 

i 

One stole to the heart of a flower that was sad, | 

And loved and caressed her until she was gUid, i 

And lifted her white face again ; j 

For love brings content to the lowliest lot, | 

And finds something sweet in the dreariest spot. 

And lightens all labor and pain. i 



32 STOEIES OF STAELAND. 

And one, where a little blind girl sat alone, 
Not sharing the mirth of lier playfellows, shone 

On hands that were folded and pale. 
And kissed the poor eyes that had never known sight, 
That never would gaze on the beautiful light 

Till angels had lifted the veil. 

At last, when the shadows of evening were falling. 

And the sun, their great father, his children was calling, 

Four sunbeams sped into the west. 
All said : " We have found that in seeking the pleasure 



Of others, we fill to the full our own measure. 



?) 



Then softly they sank to their rest. 

— St. Nicholas^ December, 1879. 



THE SUN. 

Somewhere it is always light ; ' 

For when 'tis morning here, j 

In some far distant land 'tis night, ! 
And the bright moon shines there. 

i 
When you've retired and gone to sleep, s 

They are just rising there ; ; 

And morning o'er the hill doth creep \ 

When it is evening here. \ 

i 

And other distant lands there be I 

Where it is always night ; j 

For weeks the sun they never see, ' 
The stars alone give light. 



THE 5T0EY OF GIAXT SU^^. 33 I 

i 

But though 'tis dark both night or day I 

It is as wondrous quite ! 

That when the night has passed away, : 

The sun for weeks gives light. ■ 

Yes, while you sleep the sun shines bright, 

The sky is blue and clear ; ■ 
For weeks and weeks there is no night 

But always daylight there. \ 



THE FAMILY OF GIANT SUN. 

The next morning, when Mary came out in the 
garden to sit \Yith Harry, she was surprised to 
see an audience of three instead of one : Harry, 
whose face beamed with dehghtwhen he saw her^; 
Nellie, who was seated in a tiny rocking chair 
beside him, and Nellie's doll. 

'' You see, dollie wants to know all about Giant 
Sun, too," Nellie gravely informed Mary. '* I 
never could remember all, and she might remember 
what I forget. Besides, she must learn some day. 
That is what mamma said about me. I heard 
her," Nellie continued wisely, as she looked up at 
Mary. '^ Do you mind telling me about the sky- 
people too ? " 

'' Mind ? Why you little bit of a doll baby," 
laughed Mary, as slie picked her up, doll and all, 
and hugged her, '' if you and dollie promise not 
to go to sleep, you can stay here as long as you 

34 



THE FAMILY OF GIANT SUN. 



35 



want to. But does Aunt Agnes know you are 

here, Nellie ; or have you run away from home ? " 

" No, I have not run away," said Nellie earn- 




GIANT SUN AND HIS FAMILY. 



estly, '* but my dollie has. Nurse brought me 
over here, but she did not know my dollie was 
here. I forgot all about her yesterday, while 
Harry was telling me about Giant Sun, and I left 



36 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

her out on the grass. But she didn't melt a bit. 
I knew you wouldn't, dear little dolUe, would you? 
Now, doUie, sit up straight, and listen to Cousin 
Mary talk. My, how she can talk, too ! Can't 
you ? " 

'' I'll try," said Mary, laughing. '' So you want 
to hear about Giant Sun and his family. He has 
such a large family, and he has to give them all 
plenty of light and heat. If he put out his big 
lamp in the sky, it would be always dark here, and 
we would shiver with cold and die. When I 
come to your room at night, Harry, to say good- 
night, I always carry a lamp in my hand so that 
I can see you ; but supposing a puff of wind blew 
it out, then I could not see you at all. 

'' Now this light is not only for us, but for the 
rest of the sun's family as well. First, there is 
httle Mercury, who was named after the god of 
thieves ; and he deserves this name, because he 
steals more light and heat from the sun than any 
of the other planets," 



THE FAMILY OF GIANT SUN. 37 

WHAT IS A PLAIS^ET? 

*^ What is a planet?" asked Hany. 

^^A planet is just like this earth we are living 
on, and only shines with the light it borrows from 
the sun. If we lived on planet Mercury, and could 
look at our earth, we would see it shining like a 
bright star in the sky; but all the light comes 
from the sun." 

^'Do we live on a star, then?" asked Nellie, 
her little eyes wide open with amazement. 

'' No ; we live on a planet. We could not live on 
a star, as a star is blazing hot. That is the differ- 
ence between a star and a planet. A star is hot 
and bright and shining and gives light to the 
planets, if it has any. Planets are little globes 
like the earth that circle around the sun." 

'^ Then the sun must be a star," said Harry, 
** as you told me yesterday that it is very hot." 

^* That is right," said Mary ; '' and every star in 
the sky is a sun." 

^* And has lots of weensy-teensy planets going 
^11 around it ? " asked Nellie excitedly. 



38 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

STOEY OF PLACET MEECUEY. 

'^ Some of them have, I am sm'e/' said Mary. 
^* But now we are running along too fast, and 
I must tell you about our own sun first, and its 
nearest planet Mercury. Well, Mercury is a very 
warm little world, and it gets so near the sun that 
sometimes it is about nine times as warm as here, 
and at other times it is only four times as warm. 
You see. Mercury does not go round the sun in a 
perfect circle, so at times it is farther away than 
at others. Now, the sun is like a great fire in the 
sky, and the nearer we go to it the warmer we are. 
How would vou like to live on a little world where 
it is nine times warmer than it is here ? " 

'^ I should not like it at all, would you, doUie ? " 
said Nellie ; ^' we would roast if we went to world 
Mercury." 

^' But we don't know whether there are any 
people there," continued Mary, '^ and if there are, 
they might not mind the heat at all. You can get 
used to the lieat, just as Uncle Robert did when 
he went to India. Don't you remember how he 



THE FAMILY OF GIANT SUN. 



39 



felt the change when he came home, and how he 
shivered? He missed the heat just as we would 




COMPARATIVE SIZE OF SUN AS SEEN FEOM THE PLANETS. 



suffer from it if we went to India for the first 
time." 

^^ Then Uncle Eobert would not mind going to 
Mercury," said Harry, laughing, '' if he is getting 



40 STORIES OF STAKLANB. 

to like the heat in India. But I do not want 
liim to go yet, as he might never come back 
again ; and what would we do without him ? " 

*' What would we ? " said Nellie mournfully, 
her eyes filling with tears at the very thought. 

''Is a planet made of earth and stones and 
trees and flowers, just like planet Earth ? " asked 
Harry. 

''Yes, dear," replied his sister; ''only some 
planets, like Jupiter and Saturn, are still wrapped 
up in a blanket of clouds and steam, and we 
cannot see them yet. They are very hot indeed, 
and all the water that Avill make the oceans 
and seas and bays is now steam and clouds 
hiding the true planet from view. Water could 
no more rest on the surface of the planets Jupiter 
and Saturn than it could rest on red-hot iron. 
Don't vou remember, the other dav, when nurse 
upset a cup of water on the hot stove, how the 
water sizzled and turned into steam in a moment ? 

" Now planet earth, a long time ago, when 
it was a very young worhl, was very hot like 
Jupiter. All the lakes and seas and oceans 




COMFARATIVE SIZE OF THE PLANETS. 



42 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

were turned into steam and blankets of cloud. 
It would have been a very uncomfortable world 
to live on then. But it became cooler and 
cooler, and the clouds changed into the oceans 
and seas and lakes that make our earth so 
beautiful. 

'^ Some day this little world will grow old, and 
the oceans will get smaller and smaller, and the 
earth colder and colder. Then there will be 
scarcely any air to breathe, and we would gasp, 
and die just like that poor fish that Uncle Robert 
caught last week and threw in the bottom of the 
boat. Don't you remember, Nellie, how the poor 
little thing gasped and jumped around ? It could 
not live out of the water, so it died. Now, we 
cannot live without air, and if this earth had not 
any air we would die. But this will not happen 
for a very long time." 

'* Are you quite sure ? " asked Harry, with an 
anxious look on his face ; '' because I don't want 
to die yet, sister." 

'^ Quite sure, my little brother," she said, kiss- 
ing him tenderly; ''for hundreds and hundreds 



THE FAMILY OF GIANT SUN. 43 

of years must pass away before anyone will have 
any idea that the earth is growing old." 

'^ And what will become of the poor little fishes 
when the oceans dry up ? " asked Nellie sadly, as 
she clasped her dollie closely in her arms, as 
though to protect it from the coming trouble. 

" I expect they will all die," said Harry wisely; 
^' because you know, Nellie, they can't live out of 
water. Can they ? " 

*' Or else that fish Uncle Eobert caught would 
have lived," said Nellie. '' But please tell us 
a story about Mercury, Cousin Mary, and the 
other little planets." 

'' Well, Mercury is a very little planet, and 
instead of taking a year of three hundred and 
sixty-five days, it goes around the sun in eighty- 
eight days. That is, it goes round the sun four 
times Avhile we go round it only once. Some 
think Mercury always keeps the same side turned 
to the sun, so that it is always day on one side 
and night on the other, but we are not quite sure 
about this yet." 

'' I should like to live on Mercury, wouldn't 



44 STORIES OF STARLAl^D. 

YOU, Hany ? " said Nellie, clapping her hands 
with glee. '' Just think of day all the time, and 
never having to go to sleep ! " 

'' But you would get very tired of that," said 
Mary, '' and long for the night to come. And, 
besides, would you not miss seeing the moon and 
the beautiful stars ? " 

'' I would live on the edge of Mercury," said 
Harry thoughtfully, '^ so that when I was tired 
of day I might slip around it and have night. It 
must be very cold on the other side, where the 
sun does not shine, if Mercury gets all its heat 
from the sun." 

'' I suspect it is," said Mary, " and I don't 
believe we should like to live on Mercury, after 
all ; so let us try the next planet, which is called 
Venus." 

STORY OF PLANET VENUS. 

*' Wliat a pretty name," said Nellie; ''and is 
Venus very warm, like Mercury?" 

'' It is not so near to the sun," replied Mary, 
'' but it is about twice as warm and bright as our 



THE FAMILY OF GIA;nT SUN. 45 

planet. Venus is nearly as large as the earth, 
and sometimes she is called her U\m sister. 

^^ Like Mercury, she may probably always turn 
the same face to tlie sun, and get baked on one 
side and frozen on the other. She looks like 
a beautiful silyer globe in the sky. Sometimes 
we see her early in the morning as a morning 
star, or just about twilight as an eyening star. 
Like Mercury and the earth, she borrows all her 
light from the sun. We only see her because the 
sun is shining on her. Next to Venus is our own 
planet, earth, and around it circles the moon, 
but I must tell you about that another time." 




EAKTH IN SPACE. 



THE FAMILY OF GIANT SUN. 47 

ESTELLE'S ASTRONOMY. 

BY DELIA HART STONE. 

Our little Estelle 

Was perplexed when she found 
That this wonderful world 

That we live on is round. 

How 'tis held in its place 

In its orbit so true 
Was a puzzle to her, 

With no answer in view. 

" It must be," said Estelle, 

" Like a ball in the air 
That is hung by a string ; 

But the string isn't there ! " 

—St. mcholas, March, 1896. 

VENUS. 

Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, 

If better thou belong not to the dawn, 

Sure pledge of day, that crown' st the smiling morn 

With thy bright circlet. 

— Milton. 



48 STOEIES or STARLAND. 



THE EVENING STAR. 



Lo ! in the painted oriel of tlie West, 

Whose panes the sunken sun incarnadines, 
Like a fair lady at her casement, shines 

The evening star, the star of love and rest ! 

And then anon she doth herself divest 
Of all her radiant garments, and reclines 
Behind the somber screen of yonder i)ines, 

With slumber and soft dreams of love oppressed. 

O my beloved, my sweet Hesperus ! 

My morning and my evening star of love ! 
My best and gentlest lady ! even thus, 

As that fair planet in the sky above, 
Dost thou retire unto thy rest at night. 
And from thy darkened window fades the light. 

— Longfellow. 



MERCURY. 

First, Mercury, amid full tides of light, 

Rolls next the sun, through his small circle bright; 

Our earth would blaze beneath so fierce a ray, 

And all its marble mountains melt away. 

Fair Yenus next fulfills her larger round, 

With softer beams and milder glory crowned ; 

Friend to mankind, she glitters from afar, 

Now the bright evening, now the morning star. 

— Baker. 



A RAMBLE ON THE MOON. 

The moon was shining brightly and flooding 
Harry's room with its rays. He was suffering so 
very much, and had tried in vain to sleep. Pres- 
ently he asked his nurse if she would not let 
Mary come and talk to him. " It will not tire 
me," he begged earnestly ; '' and it does tire me 
to lie here hour after hour with no one to talk to." 

His nurse understood him so well, and her 
heart ached for the lonely child who had so little 
to amuse him in life. She never refused a request 
if it were at all possible to grant it. So she 
called his sister Mary, who hastened at once to 
his room, and brother and sister were soon far 
away on a ramble in starland. 

'' We shall go to the moon this evening," she 
began, '' and find out what a queer old world 
it is." 

'^ Old ? " asked Harry ; '' why do you call it 

49 



50 



STORIES OF STARLAND. 



old, when it looks so bright and new ? See, 
sister, how it seems to be looking right into the 
window and watching us. I wonder if it knows 




THE MOON. 



what we are saying about it. Now what would 
it think if it heard you calling it old ? " 

^^But it is," said Mary, laughing; '^ and very 
old indeed. Its face is wrinkled and scarred, and 
is just like that of the old dried-up apple we 
found in the orchard the other day." 



A RAMBLE ON THE MOON. 51 

" What makes it so bright, then, if it is so 
old ? " asked Harry, as he looked curiously at the 
moon. 

*^ It borrows its light from the sun," replied his 
sister ; '^ if the sun were to stop shining you would 
not be able to see the moon at all. It would be 
as dark as night and twice as gloomy." 

*' Do you think there are people on the moon ? " 
asked Harry excitedly. 

^' No, dear, not even the ' Man in the Moon,' 
though I am going to tell you some stories about 
him presently. Besides, no one could live on the 
moon, as there is not any air to breathe, and you 
cannot live without air. There is not any water 
to drink ; in fact, there is not a drop of water on 
the moon." 

*^ Then it must be very old," said Harry 
thoughtfully, ^'because you know you told me, 
sister, some time ago, that if a planet grows very 
old all the oceans and bays disappear." 

*^ Yes, the moon is very old ; it is a dead world. 
If you could go there, you would find it a very 
gloomy spot. There are no trees or flowers ; and 



52 



STORIES OF STARLAND. 



there is not even a blade of glass. The sky is 
always black and the stars shine night and day. 
The shadows are so black on the moon that it 
would be a fine place to play hide-and-seek. The 




SCENERY ON THE MOON. 



moment you stepped into a shadow you would 
become invisible." 

'' Just like the prince in the fairy tale who put 
on a little cap and no one could see him," said 
Harry. 

'' Yes ; that prince would not need the cap on 
the moon. If he did not want anyone to know 



A RAMBLE ON THE MOON. 53 

he was there, all he would have to do would be to 
keep in the shadow. No one would hear his foot- 
steps, as not a sound can be heard on the moon. 
It would be useless to speak, as there is no air to 
carry the sound of a voice." 

'' I should not like to go to the moon, then," said 
Harrj seriously, " because you could not tell me 
any stories, sister, could you ? What would I do 
then ? " 

'' I really cannot imagine," said Mary, laugh- 
ing ; "but perhaps you might come across the 
Man in the Moon and talk to him in sign- 
language." 

" Like the deaf-and-dumb people ? " asked 
Harry. 

"If he could understand it," said Mary; "but 
then, we know there is really not any Man in the 
Moon." 

" But there is a story about him," said Harry 
coaxingly, " and I do wish you would tell it to 
me, just now while the moon is looking at us 
from the sky." 



54 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

THE MAN IN THE MOON. 

^^ Well, once upon a time," began Mary, in true 
fairy-story fashion, '' there was a man who went 
out into the woods and picked up sticks on a 
Sunday. That was very wicked of him, you know, 
because Sunday is a day of rest, and picking up 
sticks is work. He tied the sticks together into a 
bundle, and, putting them on his shoulder, started 
to walk home with them. On the way he met a 
handsome stranger, who said to him : 

^* * What are you picking up sticks for on Sun- 
day?' 

^* ^ It does not matter to me whether it is Sun- 
day or Monday,' replied the man roughly. * I 
pick up sticks when I want to.' 

"' ' Very well, then,' replied the handsome 
stranger sternly, ' since you will not observe Sun- 
day as a day of rest on earth, you shall have 
an everlasting moon-day m heaven.' Next 
moment he went whirling away to the sky, and 
landed on the moon, where you can still see him 
with his load of sticks on his back at full moon," 



A RAMBLE ON THE MOON. 55 

'^ Can I see him now, sister ? " asked Harry. 

''Not to-night/' she replied, ''because there is 
only a quarter moon. But perhaps you can see 
the face of the woman in the moon, if you look 
very carefully. See her sharp chin and pointed 
nose and shaggy eyebrows." 

" Why, is there a woman in the moon, too ? " 
asked Harry, as he looked intently at the moon, 
trying to see all his sister had pointed out, but 
having to rely largely upon his imagination. 

THE WOMAN^ IN THE MOOX. 

''I have heard a story of an old woman who 
was sent to the moon." 

" Why, what had she done?" asked Harry. 

"She was very unhappy while on earth, because 
she could not tell Avhen the world would come to 
an end ; that is, when it would get old and dead 
like the moon, so that no one could live on it any 
longer. For this she was sent to the moon. She 
has been weaving a forehead strap ever since. 
Once a month she stirs a kettle of boiling hominy, 



56 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

and her cat sits beside her unraveling her net. So 
she keeps on weaving and weaving, and the cat 
unravels her work as soon as it is done. This 
must continue to the end of time, for never till 
then will her work be finished." 

'' Poor old woman ! " said Harry ; '' I wonder she 
does not hide her work from the cat, or send the 
cat away. Bat then, that is only a story. Can 
you tell me another?" 

'' Do you never tire of stories ? " asked Mary, 
smiling. 

^* Never, when you tell them tome, sister. And 
you seem to know such a lot of them." 

^' But these stories are only fairy-tales," said 
Mary, laughing ; " these moon-stories, I mean." 

^' I don't mind," said Harry roguishly ; " we 
must have a little make-up story now and then, 
or I would get tired. Do you make them all up 
yourself, sister ? " 

'' No, indeed," said Mary. ^' I find them here 
and there and everywhere ; sometimes right in 
the middle of a big book on astronomy, or in the 
corner of an old newspaper, or hidden away in 



A RAMBLE ON THE MOON. 57 

a book covered with dust on the top shelf in the 
library." 

'' Where did you find that story about the old 
woman and the cat ? " 

** In a book of Indian legends, and the story is 
told by the Iroquois Indians. Here is another 
one I found. Would you like to hear it ? " 

'' You know I would, dear," said Harry, 
nestling closer to his sister, as she clasped his 
hand in hers. 

THE TOAD IN THE MOOK, 

^' Once upon a time a little wolf fell very much 
in love with a toad, and went a-wooing one night. 
Just like the frog, ' he would a-wooing go.' You 
remember, Harry, don't you ? " 

'' ' Whether his mother would let him or no,' " 
continued Harry; ^^ of course I remember all 
about him. So the wolf went after the toad 
and " 

'^ He prayed that the moon would light him on 
his way," continued Mary ; '' and his prayer was 



58 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

heard. By the clear hght of the fuU moon he 
ran after the toad, and he nearly caught her, 
when, what do you thmk happened ? " 

'' Oh, go on, sister ; tell me quickly ! '^ said 
Harry excitedly. 

'' Why, the toad jumped right onto the face of 
the moon, and, turning round to the wolf, said : 
* How's that, Mr. Wolf? ' And she is laughing at 
the wolf to this day." 

^' That was a clever little toad," said Harry, 
laughing ; ^' and how vexed Mr. Wolf must have 
been! Are there any more people on the moon — 
I mean story people? " 

*' Yes, there is one we read about in the legend 
of Hiawatha. Don't you remember how Nokomis 
tells about a warrior 

"^^ ' . . . Who very angry 
Seized his grandmother, and threw her 
Up into the sky at midnight. 
Right against the moon he threw her: 
'Tis her body that you see there.' " 

*^Do you think he meant the black marks you 
can see all over the moon, sister ? " 




EARTH AS SEEN FROM THE MOON. 



60 STORIES OF STABLAND. 



SCENEEY ON THE MOOK. 



*^ Very likely," replied Mary ; ^'and perhaps you 
would like me to tell you what those black marks 
are. They are enormous plains and gloomy 
caverns on the moon. A long time ago, perhaps, 
these plains were bays and seas. At least, a great 
astronomer named Galileo thought they were, and 
he gave them such pretty names — the Sea of 
Serenity, the Bay of Dreams, the Ocean of Storms. 
But he lived in the days before it was known that 
there is not any water on the surface of the moon. 
Then the caverns on the moon may once have 
been volcanoes pouring forth hot lava and ashes, 
just as the active volcanoes on the earth. But the 
volcanoes hi the moon have gone out. They are 
now like huge dark caverns, some of them more 
than fifty miles across. One is three miles deep, 
and it is named Tycho, after a great astronomer of 
olden times. 

'' Then there are mountains on the moon just 
like the mountains on earth, and quite as high. 
In Avalking over the moi^ii you would find it very 



A RAMBLE ON THE MOON". 61 

rough and uneven, but you would not mind this 
very much, as you would weigh so much less. 
Just think, Harry, you would weigh only one-sixth 
as much as you do here." 

'' And what would Uncle Robert weigh ? " asked 
Harry, with a gleam of mischief in his eye. 

'' He would only weigh forty pounds," said Mary, 




PLANET EARTH AND THE MOON. 



laughing ; '* and if he played football on the moon, 
a good kick would send the ball six times as far 
away as here. Supposing we were on the moon 
now, you could throw a stone at Uncle Robert's 
house on the other side of the grounds, six hundred 
yards away, and hit one of the windows." 

*^ I expect Uncle Robert may be glad then we 
are not on the moon," said Harry, laughing; 
** because I am afraid I should be throwing stones 



69 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

at the windows all the time. I can see the win- 
dows plainly from here. There is a light in the 
library." 

^^Then it must be very late," said Mary, looking 
over at the house; ^^ because uncle said he would 
not be home till nine o'clock. So I can only tell 
you one more little story about the moon, and 
then I must let you go to sleep. This story is 
told by the Hindoo people, and gives the reason 
why the moon shines with such a soft, silvery 
light." 

THE HINDOO LEGEND. 

''The Sun, the Moon, and the Wind had been 
invited to dinner one day by their uncle and aunt, 
Thunder and Lightning. Their mother (one of 
the most distant stars you see far up in the sky) 
waited patiently at home for the return of her 
children. Sad to relate, the Sun and Wind were 
both greedy and selfish, and, wliile enjoying the 
good feast, forgot all about their poor hungry 
mother at home. / 

" But the gentle Moon did not forget, and when- 



A RAMBLE ON THE MOON. 63 

ever a dainty dish was placed before her she 
would put part of it aside for the Star who waited 
so patiently at home. When the Sun, Moon, and 
Wind returned home, the Star, who had kept her 
bright little eye open all night long, said : 

'' ' Dear children, have you brought anything 
home for me ? ' 

'' Then the Sun, who was the oldest, said : ' I 
have brought nothing home for you. I went out 
to enjoy myself with my friends, not to get a 
dinner for my mother/ 

" And the Wind said : ' Neither have I brought 
home anything for you, mother. You could 
scarcely expect me to think of you when I merely 
went out for my own pleasure.' 

'* But the gentle Moon said : ' Mother, see all 
the good things I saved for you,' and she placed 
a choice dinner before her mother. 

"Then the Star turned to the Sun, and said: 
* Because you went out to amuse yourself with 
your friends, without any thought of your poor, 
lonely mother at home, you shall be cursed. 
Henceforth your rays shall be ever hot and 



64 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

scorching. They shall burn all they touch, and 
men shall hate you and cover their heads when 
you appear.' That is why the sun is so hot to 
this day. 

" Then she turned to the Wind and said: * You 
also, who forgot your mother while you were en- 
joying yourself, shall be punished. You shall 
always blow during the hot, dry weather, and 
shall parch and shrivel all living things. Men 
shall detest and avoid you from this time till the 
end of the world.' That is why the wind is so 
disagreeable during the hot weather. 

'' But to the gentle Moon she said : ' Daughter, 
because you remembered your hungry mother at 
home, you shall be cool, calm, and bright. No 
dazzling glare will accompany your pure rays, 
and men will call you '' blessed." ' That is why 
the moon's light is so soothing and beautiful." 

^^ Is that all?" asked Harry, as his sister 
finished the story. 

'' That is all," said Mary ; ^^ but here is a little 
good-night lullaby by Eugene Field, and then 
you must go to sleep : 



1 

i 

A RAMBLE ON THE MOON. 65 1 

'* ' In through the window a moonbeam comes, | 

Little gold moonbeam with misty wings, i 

All silently creeping, he asks, " Are you sleeping, \ 
Sleeping and dreaming, while the pretty stars sing? " ' " 

THE NEW MOON. i 

BY MRS. FOLLEN. [ 

Dear mother, how pretty 

The moon looks to-night ! 

She was never so cunning before ; [ 

Her two little horns 

Are so sharp and bright, i 
I hope she'll not grow any more. 

i 

If I were up there, j 

With you and my friends, j 

I'd rock in it nicely, you'd see ; j 

I'd sit in the middle j 

And hold by both ends ; J 

Oh, what a bright cradle 'twould be ! 

I would call to the stars j 

To keep out of the way j 

Lest we should rock over their toes ; 

And then I would rock j 

Till the dawn of the day, j 

And see where the pretty moon goes. ] 

And there we would stay 

In the beautiful skies, \ 

And through the bright clouds we would roam; i 



66 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

We would see the sun set, 
And see the sun rise, 
And on the next rainbow come home. 
— Taken from Child-Life, edited hy Whittier, 




LADY MOON. 

BY LORD HOUGHTON. 

Lady Moon, Lady Moon, where are you roving ? 

Over the sea. 
Lady Moon, Lady Moon, whom are you loving ? 

All that love me. 

Are you not tired with rolling, and never 

Resting to sleep ? 
Why look so pale and so sad, as forever 

Wishing to weep ? 

Ask me not this, little child, if you love me ; 

You are too bold ; 
I must obey my dear Father above me, 

And do as I'm told. 



A RAMBLE ON THE MOON. 67 

Lady Moon, Lady Moon, where are you roving ? 

Over the sea. 
Lady Moon, Lady Moon, whom are you loving ? 
All that love me. 
— Taken from Child-Life^ edited by Whittier. 



A LEGEND. 

A moonbeam once fell on the bell of a flower, j 

Way down by a silvery rill ; ] 

'Twas cradled to sleep in a rapturous hour, . ] 

When all the green forest was still. j 

That flower, when golden and glad was the morning. 

Was shriveled and wilted and thin ; 
But on the next night, all its chalice adorning. 

The moonbeam still lingered within. 

Since then has the flower been tender and creamy, ■ 

Wherever its petals have blown, \ 

All fragile and pearly and dainty and dreamy J 

Is the night-blooming cereus known. i 

— Taken from the New York Tribune. \ 



THE PLANET MAES AND THE BABY 
PLANETS. 

Next morning Harry and his little cousin Nel- 
lie, with her doll, awaited Maiy. Hany had told 
Nellie abovit his delightful ramble on the moon 
the evening before, and she was delighted with 
the stories of the man, the woman, and the toad 
in the moon. 

'^ I wonder what cousin Mary will tell us about 
this morning," she said. 

''I am going to tell you about a pretty little 
planet named Mars," said Mary, as she came into 
the room and overheard Nellie's remark. Picking 
up Nellie, and placing her on her knee, she began 
the story of Mars as follows : 

STORY OF PLANET MAES. 

^'Next door to our own planet earth is a beau- 
tiful little world tinted with red. It has snow- 
white caps at the north and south poles just like 

68 



THE PLANET MARS AND THE BABY PLANETS. 69 

our earth, and trees and flowers perhaps far pret- 
tier, for all we know. But there is not much 
water on Mars, because Mars is an old planet." 
'' How do you know it is old?" asked Harry. 




THE PLANET MARS. 



*' I know it is old," replied his sister, ^'because 
the older a planet is, the smaller are the seas and 
lakes and the amount of water on its surface. As 
the planet gets older and older, the water dis- 
appears, until not a drop is left. But there are 
wonderful canals all over Mars, and if there were 
boats up there, you could go all over Mars 
by means of these canals. When Mr. Lowell 



70 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

looked at Mars through his fine telescope, he not 
only saw the canals, but round spots where the 
canals meet." 

" Perhaps the spots are landing-places where 
the captains take new passengers aboard," said 
Harry earnestly. 

'' Perhaps, Harry," said his sister, laughing ; 
*' that is, if there are any people on Mars, and 
captains and boats. How you Avould enjoy going 
in a yacht up and down these canals, seemg the 
lovely flowers and scenery on Mars, for I am sure 
it must be a very beautiful little world. 

*^It is not quite as bright on Mars as it is here, 
since it is farther away from the sun and only gets 
one-half as much light and heat. The year is also 
nearly twice as long and lasts six hundred and 
eighty-seven days, instead of only three hundred 
and sixty-five. Therefore, the summer season is 
nearly twice as long, but not nearly as warm as 
here." 

'' Then the winter must be twice as long and 
much colder than here," Harry said. ** I do not 
think I should like that. But perhaps the canals 



THE PLANET MARS AND THE BABY PLANETS. 71 

freeze over in the winter time, and there may be 
fine skating np there? " 

**No, the canals disappear altogether during the 
winter time," replied Mary ; '' or, rather, we cannot 
see them until they reappear again as faint dark 




CANALS OF :\rAIlS (LOWELL). 

lines in the spring-time. They get wider and 
wider until the summer season, then they get nar- 
row again and disappear. Some of them are 
double, but the double lines we see may mean 
only grass and ferns on each side of a large canal 
fifty miles wide. When the canals double, the 
little round spots at the junctions of the canals 
darken. Perhaps these spots are like little islands 



72 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

in a desert, and they are covered with grass during 
the summer time." 

'^I should like to live on one of those httle 
islands," said Harry. ^^ Wouldn't you, NelHe ? " 

^^If I could take my dollie with me," she replied, 
as she gazed at it tenderly. ^^ And we might go 
for little boat-rides all around the islands. Do you 
think there are any little girls on Mars who have 
beautiful dollies like mine ? " 

*'I really do not know," replied Mary; ^^but if 
there are any people living on Mars, I do know 
they are not like us. We could not live there, as 
there is not enough air for us to breathe. We 
would gasp just as that poor fish did the other day, 
when Uncle Kobert hauled it up out of the lake 
and threw it into the boat. We must have air, 
and plenty of it, if we want to live." 

'' So we could not live on Mars, could we, sis- 
ter? " said Harry. 

'' It would not be comfortable," replied Mary ; 
^^ besides, it is not nearly as warm as here. Poor 
Uncle Kobert would nearly freeze during the long 
winter. He would also find another surprise 



THE PLANET MARS AND THE BABY PLANETS. 73 

awaiting him if he went to Mars. Mars is a 
smaller world than the earth, so everything weighs 
less." 

''Ah! I see," said Harry, clapping his hands 
with glee. '' Uncle would not be so heavy on 
Mars. How glad he would be to go there! Poor 
Uncle Eobert ! He is so heavy he just shakes the 
house when he walks across the floor. Next time 
I see him I shall say : ' Go to Mars, Uncle Eob- 
ert, and see what will happen to you there.' How 
much would he weigh on Mars ? " 

'' He weighs two hundred and forty pounds 
here, and would weigh only ninety pounds there, 
and you would weigh only thirty pounds. So I 
could pick you up, couch and all, and carry you 
as easily as Nellie carries her doll in its doll- 
carriage." 

'' Then doUie would weigh nothing at all," said 
Nellie, looking at her doll curiously. 

Harry looked puzzled, and after thinking a mo- 
ment, he said to his sister : 

" I cannot see why I would weigh less if I went 
to Mars." 



74 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

'^ Because the planet being smaller than the 
earth, it has less power to attract you and to hold 
you down to its surface. The earth is like a great 
magnet, and if there were not something drawing 
us to it and keeping us there, we would be greatly 
puzzled. Tables and chairs would not stand firm, 




MARS AND THE EARTH. 

and we would stagger about for want of weight, 
just as when a diver tries to walk in deep water. 
He has to have heavy weights fastened to him so 
as to keep him in place. A stone that would be 
quite heavy on earth would weigh only a few 
ounces on Mars. Nellie could carry this large 
rocking-chair I am. sitting in and eight or ten 
dollies as well. Do you remember seeing the men 
at the circus jumping over bars five feet high ? 
Well, on Mars they could jump fifteen feet, while 



THE PLANET MAES AND THE BABY PLANETS. 75 

the clumsy old elephant we saw there would 
probably be as graceful and nimble as a deer." 

'' How would football be on Mars ? " asked 
Harry. 

<< Very unlike football here, dear. A good kick 
would send the ball much farther than here." 

" Is Mars very far away ? " asked Nellie. ^^ If 
we could go there in a train, would it take us ever 
so long going ? " 

'' About sixty years," said Mary, laughing, " if 
the train went a mile a minute. If you tried to 
walk it, going four miles an hour and ten hours a 
day, it would take you more than two thousand 
years to get there. So, I don't think we can take 
that trip, little girl, can we? But let us call on 
the next-door neighbor or neighbors to Mars, for 
there are about four hundred and fifty of them." 

STOEY OF THE BABY PLANETS. 

'* Four hundred and fifty little worlds?" asked 
Harry. 

'' Where can there be room for them all, and 



76 STOBIES 01^ STARLAND. 

don't they knock against each other in the 
sky ? " 

" No, there is plenty of room for them up there. 
Besides, they are so small, some of them being 
only ten miles wide." 

^^ Why, Uncle Robert walked ten miles the other 
day,'' said Harry ; '' he could walk all around those 
little worlds. And if they are so little, I suppose 
he would weigh scarcely anything at all if he lived 
on one of them. I should think he would be al- 
most like the giant with the seven-league boots. 
Don't you remember, Nellie, you were reading 
about him the other day. Poor little Jack the 
Giant Killer would not have much chance there, 
but perhaps he could fly if he weighed so little. 
And how would football be on these little 
worlds ? " 

*^ You might give the ball such a kick that it 
would leave the planet altogether and circle around 
the sun as a planet on its own account." 

How Harry and Nellie laughed at the idea of a 
football circling around the sun as a planet ! 

'^ And is this really true? " inquired Harry. 



THE PLANET MAES AND THE BABY PLANETS. 77 

" Why, this is better than any fairy story I ever 
heard. Now, tell me some more. Don't you 
think we might be able to fly on these tiny 
worlds?" 

^^ If you could get someone to make you a pair 
of wings up there, it would be quite easy to fly. 
Our bodies would only weigh a few pounds, 
so we ought to be able to flap a pair of wings 
strong enough to keep us flying. That is, if 
the air around these little worlds is as dense 



as ours.'' 



^' Don't I wish 1 lived there, then," said Harry 
regretfully, ^^ because it would not matter about 
my being lame. And I could put on my wings 
whenever I wanted to see you, Nellie, and fly 
across the park, and way, way up into the sky, 
and " 

*' Oh, don't! Harry," said Nellie, throwing her 
doll on the ground and catching hold of her cousin 
in dismay ; ^^ if you go you must take me with you 
too. And poor little dollie," she continued, sud- 
denly remembering her precious charge, *^ and 
Cousin Mary and Uncle Robert and Aunt Agnes 



78 STORIES OF STAKLANB. 

and everybody in the world. What would we do 
if you flew away from us ? " 

'^ But I can't," said Harry/laughing at her dis- 
may ; '' and it's just like a little girl to think I 
would go and leave her all alone. No, we'll all 
go some day, won't we ? " he continued, turning to 
his sister Mary ; '' and we'll be with the angels — 
and have wings. You and Nellie and I — why, we 
will all fly, and I shall forget I ever was lame on 
planet earth then." 

" And will father have wings, too ?" asked Nellie 
curiously. " He will want a very big pair, some- 
thing like the big eagle's down at the aquarium." 

*' Will he, you little rogue? " exclaimed the loud, 
good-natured voice of her father, as he appeared 
on the scene. *' So this is where you are, and I 
have been looking for you all over the house and 
grounds." 

" I told nurse I would be back in a minute," 
she replied. 

'' A minute ! " said her father, laughing heartily; 
'' why, you have been here nearly an hour. So 
you want your father to have wings, do you, you 



THE PLANET MARS AND THE BABY PLANETS. 79 

little rogue ! Wait till I show you how you would 
fly if you had wings." The next moment he put 
her up on his shoulder, doUie and all, and ran 
with her across the meadow at full speed, while 
she laughed merrily and clapped her hands with 
delight. 

'' So the party is broken up," said Harry's nurse, 
who came to look after her charge. 

'^ Yes ; one of the audience has flown," said 
Harry, laughing. 

** And I must fly, too," said Mary, as she kissed 
Harry lovingly. *' And I shall tell you about the 
rest of Giant Sun's family to-morrow. Good-by." 



STORY OF JUPITER AND HIS MOONS. 

It was several days before Mary could see Harry 
again and tell him '* sky-stories," as he called 
them, for he had been suffering much pain. Even 
her gentle voice irritated him, and perfect quiet 
was ordered by the doctor until the little sufferer 
was better. At last he was able to enjoy the sun- 
light and the flowers and the song of the birds 
again, and one bright morning he was all ready, 
as he told his sister, to take another trip to Star- 
land. x4s Mary arranged the pillows on the couch 
for him, and a large sunshade, so that the glare of 
sunlight would not hurt his eyes, he caught hold 
of her hand and, pressing it lovingly, he said : 

^' Darling, what should I do without you? You 
are so good to me." 

''How can I help it, little sweetheart!" said 
Mary, as she turned her head aside to keep him 
from seeing the tears that would come to her eyes ; 

80 



STORY OF JUPITER AND HIS MOONS. 81 

" how can I help it, when I love you so dearly. 
Besides, you are my own dear little brother, and 
you don't know how I missed you all last week." 

'^ Did you really, sister ? And T was dreaming 
away all day long about the wonderful stories you 
have been telling me. I played football on Mars, 
and had beautiful wings when I lived on the baby 
planets, and flew from one to another, and now I 
want to know something about the giant planets. 
You said they lived next door to the little tiny 
planets.'* 

STOEY OF JUPITEK. 

** Yes, next door to the baby planets we come 
to the largest of all, the giant planet Jupiter. If 
a tunnel were made through the center of Jvipiter, 
eleven globes as large as the earth, placed side 
by side, would reach from one side to the other. 
You could make thirteen hundred globes out of 
planet Jupiter as large as the earth. If the earth 
were a large snowball, and a giant could roll thir- 
teen hundred such snowballs into one, he would 
have a ball to play with as large as planet Jupiter. 



8^ 



STORIES OF STARLAND. 



If it were made of the same material as the earth, 
it would be more than three hundred times as 
heavy." 

'' It would take a very big giant to play with 
that snowball, wouldn't it ? " said Harry, smiling 



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GIANT JUPITER AND THE EARTH. 



at the thought. '^ There would not be much room 
in the sky for him to play in, would there ? " 

'' Plenty of room," replied his sister, laughing; 
'' room for milUons and millions of balls as large 
as Jupiter, and much, much larger." 

*^ What a wonderful place the sky must be!" 
said Harry, in awe. ^' Now, tell me some more 



STORY OF JUPITER AND HIS MOONS. 83 

about Jupiter. Didn't you tell me last week that 
he is hidden away among blankets, and very, very 
hot?" 

^^ That is right, Harry, but some day he will 
cool down, and the blankets will change into 
beautiful oceans and seas and lakes. Then it 
will be a world like ours, with trees and flowers, 
and perhaps people will live there." 

** The sun is so much further away from Jupiter 
than from the earth that it gives it only one 
twenty-seventh as much light and heat. If you 
can imagine the sun as a bright lamp in the sky, 
and someone turning down the wick of the lamp 
till its light is only one twenty-seventh as bright 
as it is now, you can imagine how dim the light 
and small the amount of heat must be on Jupiter." 

^' How long does Jupiter take in going round 
the sun ? " asked Harry. 

'^ About twelve years," replied Mary; '' and the 
day is only about ten hours long, instead of 
twenty-four as here." 

"What a short day! " said Harry, in surprise 
" Then you could work only five hours and sleep 



84 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

five hours. I believe I would sleep all day, and 
all night, too. I must tell Nellie about that next 
time I see her." 

"■ Why did not she come this morning, I won- 
der ? " said Mary. '' Perhaps she has gone for a 
walk with her nurse." 

'' I'll tell her about my trip," said Harry gen- 
erously, '' when she comes over here again. And 
now what else is there about Jupiter ? " 

JUPITEK AS SEEN THROUGH A TELESCOPE. 

*' If you look at it through a large telescope you 
will see that it is beautifully colored, as if Uncle 
Robert had taken his paint-box, and dipped his 
brush into browns and reds, and tinted the cloud- 
belts around Jupiter here and there with touches 
of yellow and orange, olive-green and purple. 
Only an artist could get such beautiful effects. If 
we could journey to one of the little moons of 
Jupiter " 

'' Has Jupiter moons also? " asked Harry, de- 
lighted at the thought. 



STORY OF JUPITER AND HIS MOONS. 85 

"Five of them," said Mary; "and I shall tell 
you about them later. Supposing we could jour- 
ney to one of these little moons, what a glorious 
sight Jupiter would be! From the nearest 
moon it would look thousands of times larger 
than our moon. The colors we see only faintly 
through our telescopes would present a mag- 
nificent sight when seen at close range, while 
constant changes would be taking place, as 
varied as the changes in the clouds flitting across 
a summer sky. Great cloud-masses drift hither 
and thither with enormous speed, driven by winds 
of hurricane force. By watching the changes that 
take place in the clouds, we know there must be 
winds blowing at the rate of nearly two hundred 
miles per hour. Do you remember the cyclone 
Uncle Robert told us about, when several houses 
were blown down and trees uprooted ? " 

" Yes, indeed, I do," replied Harry, " and his 
poor little dog Fido was nearly killed by a falling 
chimney." 

" Poor little Fido would not have much chance 
on Jupiter. The storms there are ever so much 



8Q STORIES OF STARLAND. 

worse than here. The strongest buildings would 
be blown down in a few moments ; sturdy oaks 
would be uprooted and blown about by the wind 
like straws." 

^^Do the storms last very long? " asked Harry. 

^^ They last six and seven weeks at a time," re- 
plied Mary, ^^so that Jupiter would scarcely be a 
comfortable Avorld to live on yet. Besides, it is 
still in the fiery stage." 

^^ Won't you tell me some more about the little 
moons of Jupiter ? " asked Harry. 

THE MOONS OF JUPITER. 

** They are not so little, after all, brother, except 
the first one, which is only one hundred miles wide. 
It is such a shy little moon that it keeps hiding 
behind Jupiter, or gets so close to him that it is 
lost in the glare of light from the giant planet. 
We had no idea it was there at all until an Ameri- 
can astronomer, Professor Barnard, caught sight 
of it one evening. It was playing hide-and-seek 
as usual; but Professor Barnard; with his keen 



STORY OF JUPITER AND HIS MOONS. 



87 



eyes, spied the little speck of light. It is now 
known as the fifth moon of Jupiter. It was only 
discovered in 1892, and just think, that for the 
hundreds and hundreds of years it has been there, 
yet no one had seen it. The French people were 




JUPITER AND HIS MOONS. 



so delighted because Professor Barnard caught 
sight of the little truant that they gave him a 
beautiful gold medal." 

'^ Won't you show the little moon to me some- 
time?" said Harry. ^^ I should like to see it so 
much." 

'^ You can only see it through a very large 
telescope ; but I can. sliow you the other four 
moons if Uncle Robert will lend us his telescope." 

^' Here he comes," said Harry, in great glee, as 
he saw Uncle Robert crossing the meadow. 



88 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

'' Won't you bring over your telescope this even- 
ing ? " said Harry pleadingly, as he told him what 
Mary had just said. 

'' Certainly, my little man," his uncle replied ; 
*' but we can only see three of the moons this 
everting as one of them is eclipsed." 

^^ What's that ? " said Harry, in surprise at the 
strange word. 

'^ Eclipsed means hidden," said Mary, laughing. 
^^ If Uncle Robert stands right in front of you, as 
he is doing just now, he hides me from you, so I 
am eclipsed." 

'^ Very true," said Uncle Robert, laughing 
heartily at the hint. '* Planet Mary is eclipsed by 
Uncle Robert, and poor little Planet Harry cannot 
see her till Uncle Robert gets out of the way." 
Tliis he immediately proceeded to do, and next 
moment he was pursuing Fido, who was having 
a not over-friendly encounter with a strange cat 
in a neighbor's garden. 

^^ Oh, dear," said Harry, in distress, *^ where 
were we ? We were up in tlie sky among the 
planets, and now Uncle Robert has brought us 



STORY OF JUPITER AND HIS MOONS. 89 

back again to earth. Do listen to poor Fido." 
He certainly seemed to be getting the worse of the 
encounter with Pussy ; but when Uncle Robert 
came to the rescue the enemy vanished, and Fido, 
nothing daunted, went in search of other prey. 
When peace and quiet were once more restored, 
Mary resumed her story. 



ECLIPSE OF JTJPITER'S MOO^^S. 



" Do you know, the appearance and disappear- 
ance of the little moons of Jupiter once gave a 
great deal of trouble to astronomers. They had 
a way of appearing a little too soon or a little too 
late. They were very seldom on time. This was 
very provoking, as astronomers were rather proud 
of being able to tell exactly when these little 
moons could be seen. At last thev found out 
what was the matter, and that they were to blame 
and not the moons. We see the little moons on 
account of their light, and light takes time to 
travel. Don't you remember, I told you sound 
travels a mile in five seconds. Light travels even 



90 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

more quickly, for it only takes a little over a sec- 
ond in coming to us from the moon. It takes 
about eight minutes in coming to us from the sun ; 
but Jupiter is about five times as far away from 
us as the sun, so that light takes about half an 
hour in coming to us from Jupiter. We do not 
see it as it is, but as it was more than half an hour 
ago, when its rays of light started out to Planet 
Earth. 

''Now, Jupiter, in going around the sun, is 
sometimes on the same side of the sun as we are. 
Then the light from the moons reaches us in about 
thirty-two minutes. But when Jupiter is on the 
opposite side of the sun, and as far away from us 
as it can be, then light takes as much as forty- 
eight minutes in coming here — over a quarter of 
an hour longer. So a clever astronomer decided 
that when Jupiter and his moons are nearest to us, 
it does not take as long for their light to reach us 
as when they are farther awa}^, and this is because 
light, like sound, must have time to travel. 

'' Even thougli light can go round the earth seven 
times in a second, traveling at the rate of about 



STORY OF JUPITER AKB HIS MOONS. 91 

186,000 miles a second, yet, as Jupiter is millions 
of miles away, it takes light about half an hour, 
and some times forty-eight minutes, for it to cross 
that great distance. It is just the same as if 
Uncle Robert were in India. It would take him a 
much longer time to come and see you than if he 
were at his home just a few hundred yards away. 
It takes time for him to travel here, just as it 
takes time for light to travel from the little 
moons of Jupiter." 

'' I wish we had five moons shining on our 
earth," said Harry; ^Miow pretty it would be! 
Does it take the moons as long as our moon to 
get around Jupiter ? " 

'* They are much livelier than our moon," re- 
plied Mary ; '^ and the second moon flies right 
around Jupiter in a little more than a day and a 
half, and even the outside moon only takes about 
two weeks; so there must always be a moon shin- 
ing in the sky for Jupiter. These moons, except 
the moon discovered by Professor Barnard, are 
all larger than our moon, and the fourth one is 
nearly as large as Mars. But I hear the bell for 



92 STORIES OF ST A RL AND. 

lunch, Harry, and I must run away now. I will 
tell you about the other planets later." 

'^ How many are there?" said Harry, as his 
sister kissed him good-by. 

*' Only three," replied Mary ; '' and I shall tell 
you about them to-morrow, if you are not too 
tired." 

^' Too tired ! " said Harry. '^ I am never too 
tired to listen to you." 

JUPITER. 

Oh ! that it were my doom to be 
The spirit of yon beauteous star, 

Dwelling up there in purity, 

Alone, as all such bright things are ; 

My sole employ to pray and shine, 

To light my censer at the sun ! 

— Moore : Loves of the Angels, 

A LESSON IN ASTRONOMY. 

The solar system puzzled us, 
Miss Mary said she thought it would, 

And so she gave us each a name, 

And made it all into a game, 
And then we understood. 



STORY OF JUPITEK AND HIS MOONS. 93 

Theresa, with her golden hair 

All loose and shining, was the sun. 
And 'round her Mercury and Mars, 
Yenus, and all the other stars 

Stood waiting, every one. 

I was the earth, with little Nell 

Beside me for the moon so round. 
And Saturn had two hoops for rings. 
And Mercury a pair of wings, 

And Jupiter was crowned. 

Then when Miss Mary waved her hand, 

Each slow and stately in our place. 
We circled round the sun until 
A comet, that was little Will, 

Came rushing on through space. 

He darted straight into our midst, 

He whirled among us like a flash. 
The stars went flying, and the sun, 
And laughing, breathless, wild with fun. 

The '^ system " went to smash. 

— Youth'' s Companion. 



THE GIANT PLANETS. 

THE pla:net SATUE]^. 

Haeey had spent a most delightful evening 
looking through Uncle Robert's telescope at the 
little moons of Jupiter, and he also had seen the 




THE RINGED PLANET SATURN. 



planet Saturn, with its rings and moons. Next 
evening when his sister came to talk with him he 
had many questions to ask her. First of all he 
wanted to know what the rings were made of. 



94 



THE GIANT PLANETS. 95 

'^Millions of little moons," replied his sister. 
*^ I wish you could see Saturn and its rings through 
the great telescope at the Lick Observatory. It 
makes such a pretty picture? Like Jupiter, the 
planet Saturn is surrounded by clouds ; but they 
are tinted with blue at the poles, yellow elsewhere, 
and dotted here and there wdth brown ; purple, and 
red spots. Around the center is a creamy white 
belt. Then, there are eight moons that accompany 
Saturn in its journey around the sun ; but they 
give very little light to the planet, since if they 
could all be full together they would give but a 
sixteenth part of the light we receive from the 
moon." 

'' Why is that ? " asked Harry. 

THE PLANET URANUS. 

'' Because Saturn is so far away from the Sun," 
replied Mary. ''Next to Saturn we find Uranus. 
This planet was first seen by William Herschel, 
who afterwards became one of the greatest as- 
tronomers the w^orld has ever known. When 
Herschel was a little boy his home was in Han- 



STORIES OF STARLAND. 



over. He had great talent for music, and when 
he was fourteen years old he jomed the band of 
the Hanoverian Guards. What a proud boy he 
was when he dressed in his new uniform ! How- 
ever, pride must have a fall, and it was not very 
long before he wished he had never entered the 
army. Just about this time war broke out be- 
tween France and England, and as Hanover 
belonged to the English it was attacked by the 
French. The Hanoverian Guards were badly de- 
feated. Herschel spent the night after the battle 
hiding away in a ditch, and next day, assisted by 
his friends, he ran away to England. There he 
continued his musical studies, and some years later 
he became a fine organist." 

** Did he have to play a big organ like the one 
in our church ? " asked Harry. 

'^ Something like that, I suppose," said Mary ; 
*' and he played very well indeed. He learned 
more and more about music, and in the evenings 
when going and coming from the church he used 
to notice the beautiful stars overhead, and he 
wished to learn something about them." 



THE GIANT PLANETS. 97 

''Just the way I feel," said Harry. ''I get 
nurse to pull up the window curtain at night so 
that I can see the stars from my bed, and they 
seem to laugh and wink their little eyes at me as 
if they knew I was watching them. Did Herschel 
have a telescope Hke the one Uncle Eobert 
has?" 

*' He was not so fortunate, but he wanted one 
very much indeed. So he borrowed a telescope 
from a friend, and every night after practicing in 
the church he would amuse himself looking at 
the stars. He longed to have a telescope of his 
own ; but he found that they cost more than he 
could afford to pay, so he decided to make one. 
He bought all that was necessary, and turned his 
home for the time into a workshop. He had a 
dear, good-natured sister named Caroline, and she 
did all she could to help her brother. Sometimes 
he was too busy to eat and she used to feed him. 
When he was tired she would read to him from 
the ' Arabian Nights.' " 

''The same book I have?" asked Harry, in 
surprise. 



98 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

*' The very same ; and this helped to pass away 
the time while Herschel polished away on the 
great mirror of his telescope. When the tele- 
scope was finished people came from far and near 
to see it. One evening when Herschel was gaz- 
ing at the stars with this magic glass he spied a 
star not marked down on his charts. * Something 
wrong here/ thought Herschel ; * this must be a 
comet.' But after noticing it for a while he found 
that it was not a comet, but a planet or wanderer 
among the stars." 

DIFFEEENCE BETWEEN A PLANET AND A STAE. 

^^How could he tell the difference?" asked 
Harry. '' When I looked at Planet Jupiter last 
night it looked like the stars, only rounder and 
bigger." 

'' The planets are so much nearer to us than the 
stars that we can follow them as they slowly creep 
between us and the stars in their journey around 
tlie sun. The stars are so far away that we would 
have to watch them for thousands of years before 



THE GIANT PLANETS. 99 

they would seem to move at all, yet we know they 
are moving." 

*^ Are the stars movmg ? " said Harry, in sur- 
prise. 

^' Yes, they are moving, just as distant steamers 
seen at sea are moving ; but they are so far away 
that they seem motionless. Don't you remember 
how we used to watch them from the seashore. 
Still they were going as fast as steam could take 
them. We might compare the steamers to the 
stars, and the little boats nearer shore were more 
like the planets. We could easily follow the boats 
with our eyes as they danced over the waves, and 
in the same way we can easily follow the planets 
as they creep across the sky, because they are so 
much nearer to us than the stars." 

*' The new planet was called Uranus, although 
at first the friends of Herschel wanted to name 
it after him. Next to Uranus comes the planet 
Neptune, which was discovered before it was ever 
seen." 



100 STOKIES OF STARLAND. 

THE DISCOVERY OF PLANET NEPTUNE. 

*^ How could that happen? " asked Harry. 

'^ Because Uranus behaved so strangely," replied 
his sister. ^' The planets attract each other ; for 
instance, the earth is swayed to and fro by Jupi- 
ter and Venus, and a great struggle is always 
going on among the planets in the family of Giant 
Sun. It could be plainly seen that Saturn was 
taking part in the struggle and dragging Uranus 
toward it, but something beyond the newly dis- 
covered planet was pulling it the other way. 
* There must be another planet,' said the astrono- 
mers, and they were right. After puzzling over 
the problem two astronomers found the truant, 
and announced exactly when and where it was to 
be seen. And there it was, nearly exactly where 
these learned men said it would be. The new 
planet was christened Neptune, and it takes about 
one hundred and sixty-four years to go around the 
sun. It is so far away from the sun that it only 
receives one nine-hundredth of the amount of 
light and heat we receive on planet earth " 



THE GIANT PLANETS. 



101 



*' Then it must be very cold on planet Nep- 
tune ? " said Harry. 

*^And very dark also," said Mary, '^ since from 
this planet the sun only looks as large as an elec- 
tric light seen at a dis.tance of a few feet." 




SIZE OF PLANETS, COMPARED WITH THE SUN. 



\ 

102 STORIES OF STAELAND. \ 

j 

i 

i 

'^ISITTRUET' I 

i 

BY MORGAN GROWTH. i 

i 

-i 

She stood where the winter sunlight ; 

Seemed opening into the skies — | 

(She was only a little girl, you see, \ 

And her teacher was old and wise). i 

i 

^^ You never can be promoted," ■ 

That wise, wise teacher said, ; 

*' For the lesson you need the most of all I 

You leave unlearned, little maid." \ 



*a didn't like tosay it"— 

Her answer was grave, and slow — 
^'That the earth goes whirling 'round like a ball. 

For I don't see how they know. 



"I'll write it down on my paper, 
(The one that I hand to you) 

But when I die I shall find the Lord, 
And ask Him if it's true." 



The classes were called without her. 
And the schooldays come and go. 

And other children wonder and wait — 
It is hers alone to know. 



THE GIANT PLANETS. 103 

Sometimes, in the empty schoolroom, 

The teacher is left alone 
With the echoes that linger about the place 

And call from stone to stone. 



And, lo, with this world's learning 

Before his wondering view, 
He goes to his Lord — his all-wise Lord, 

And asks Him if it's true. 

— From Child-Study Monthly, 



COMETS AND METEORS. 

A few evenings later Maiy had a wonderful 
storv to tell her brother about some visitors from 
space who often visit the kingdom of Giant Sun. 
'' They are called comets, or hairy stars, but I 
rather enjoy calling them "• celestial tramps.' " 

'' What are they like ? " asked Harry. 

STOEY OF COMETS. 

'^ They usually have a bright golden head, some- 
times as large as the earth, and as they approach 
the sun they adorn themselves with a glittering 
train millions of miles in length. Some of the 
comets are regular visitors, and we know just when 
to expect them ; others come, and do not return for 
hundreds of years, while a few visit the sun never 
to return again." 

*' Where do they come from ? " asked Harry. 

** We scarcely know," replied Mary, ^^ except 

104 



COMETS AND METEORS. 



105 



that it is from outer space, just like tramps on 
earth. We do not know where tramps come from, 
nor do we expect to see them again. If they do 
revisit us, however, we can usually recognize 




A COMET. 



them. Do vou remember the old man who came 
to the kitchen door the other day and begged for 
food ? You felt so sorry for him. You would know 
him if you saw him again on account of his long 
white beard, white hair, and shabby clothes. 

*^ When a celestial tramp returns, however, it is 



106 STOEIES OF STAELAND. 

not SO easy to recognize it. When it first greeted 
us it may have bad a large head and a gorgeous 
train millions of miles in length. Next time we 
see it, how it has changed! Its head may be 
small, its train may have vanished, or it may be 




OLD PICTURE OF A COMET. 



the proud owner of three or four trains, A comet 
usually changes its appearance at every visit. 
Just as if the old man we saw tlie other day were 
to cut off his beard, dye his hair black, and wear 
Uncle Robert's dress-suit. We should not know 
him, should we, Harry ? " 

*' I should think not," said Harry, laughing at 
the very idea. *' Then how can you tell when the 
same comet visits us again ? " 



COMETS AND METEORS. 107 

'* Because it has a regular path marked out for 
it in the sky," replied Mary, '' and it travels along 
that path unless something happens to it on the 
way. It may go too near giant planet Jupiter. 
Just like our tramp again Let us suppose he has 
a regular path marked out and it takes him across 
Uncle Eobert's farm and leads to our kitchen 
door. We may expect to see Mr. Tramp to-mor- 
row, but as he crosses the farm a dog bites him 
and frightens him away. Perhaps then we may 
not see him again." 

** Poor old man," laughed Harry. '^ I hope that 
won't happen to him. Do the ' celestial tramps ' 
travel very quickly through the sky ? " 

'' Not very quickly until they come close to the 
sun. Then they rush around it ever so much 
faster than an express train ; but as they recede 
from the sun they go more slowly until they seem 
only to creep along, as if worn out by their 
long journey. They also lose their trains after 
they go away from the sun, and the train becomes 
shorter and shorter, till the comet looks like a 
round, fluffy ball, just as it did before it came too 



108 STOEIES OF STAKLAND. 

near the sun. It is the sun's heat that drives the 
particles from the head of the comet and forms a 
train.'* 

^^ What are comets made of? " asked Harry. 

'^ Of miUions of tiny little particles covered 
with coats of glowing gas. These particles are 
made up of carbon, sodium, iron, and magnesium. 
You will find plenty of sodium in the sea, while 
common table salt is partly sodium. You know 
what magnesium is. Some of that medicine 
doctor gives you is made of it." 

'^ So if I get some iron and salt and coal 
and some of my medicine, and put them all 
together, I should have a bit of a comet," said 
Harry. 

^' But you must remember the coal, iron, 
sodium, and magnesium must be very much 
heated, and don't forget the coat of gas. Some- 
times a comet breaks into pieces, and the frag- 
ments travel along by themselves as meteors." 

*^ Sometimes the earth plunges through swarms 
of meteors, which journey in regular paths around 
the sun. At such a time, the bright masses seem 



COMETS AND METEORS. 109 

to fall in showers from the sky. There are three 
great showers which we always know when to ex- 
pect. Some come in August, some on the 13th 
or 14th of November, and there is another shower 
which always appears within a day or two of the 
27th of November. 

" ' If you November's stars wonld see, 
From twelfth to fourteenth watching be, 
In August too stars shine from Ijeaven, 
On nights between nine and eleven.' " 

STORY OF METEORS. 

'* What are meteors? " asked Harry. 

*^ Meteors are great masses of stone or iron 
which sometimes Aveigh several tons. Lieutenant 
Peary found one not long ago in the Arctic re- 
gions, and it weighed about eighty tons. It is 
lucky for us that many meteors do not fall on the 
earth, or we should have to walk about with iron 
umbrellas over our heads as a protection. When 
they do fall on earth, they are much prized and 
placed in our museums as curiosities. 

*^ A story is told about a meteor that fell on a 



110 



STORIES OF STARLAND. 



farm some time ago. The landlord said it be- 
longed to him, for Avhen he rented the farm to the 
tenant he claimed all minerals and metals fomid in 
the ground. 




A METEOR. 



'^ ' But it was not on the farm when tlie lease 
was made out,' said the tenant. 

'^ ' Then T claim it as flying game,' replied the 
landlord angrily. 

*^ ' But it has neither wings nor feathers, so I 



COMETS AND METEORS. Ill 

lay claim to it as ground game/ said the tenant 
in reply. 

'' While the dispute was going on the custom- 
house officers seized the meteorite, because, as they 
said, it had come into the country without paying 
duty." 

'* That is not a true story, is it ? " asked Harry, 
laughing. 

*' Scarcely," replied Mary; ^'but it was a good 
joke on the landlord. And now we come to the 
very smallest members of the family of Giant Sun. 
I mean the shooting stars." 

'^ Those bright little flying stars we can see at 
night ? " asked Harry. 

STOEY OF A SHOOTHsTG STAE. 

" Yes," replied Mary ; ^^ and if they could only 
talk, what a wonderful story they would have to 
tell ! A shooting star is very much smaller than a 
meteor, and the largest does not weigh more than 
a quarter of an ounce. You could easily hold one 
in your hand, for it is like a small stone, only, un- 



112 STOEIES OF STARLAND. 

like a stone, it is always on the move. It hurries 
along through space ever so much faster than an 
express train, and all goes well as long as it keeps 
above the blanket of air that surrounds the earth. 
If it comes too near, however, it is sure to be 
destroved. It dashes into the air at the rate of 
twenty-five miles a second, rubbing against every 
particle it meet^ on its way. This makes it in- 
tensely hot, until it glows with brilliant light. 
We see it for a few moments as it flashes out 
against the dark sky ; but the light soon fades and 
all that remains of the shooting star is its ashes. 
Sometimes they sift down upon the earth and 
settle on the tops of high mountains, or sink into 
the ocean, or float in through an open window and 
rest upon tables and books as fine dust. But 
when our good housekeeper finds it there she 
carefullv removes it with her duster. She does 
not know nor does she care where it came from; it 
certainly has no right there, and she treats it with 
small ceremony." 

^'I wonder what she would say if she knew that 
the dust had come from the sky," said Harry. 



COMETS AND METEORS. 113 

^' I do not think it would make any difference," 
said Maiy, laughing. '^ And now I am going to 
tell you a little story about a shooting star, and 
then I must say good-night. 

'^It is said that the evil genii — you remember 
reading about them in the Arabian Nights, don't 
you, Harry? " 

'' Indeed I do/' he replied. 

'' Well, at night they are said to fly up to the 
gates of heaven and listen to the conversation of 
the angels. When the angels see their hidden 
foes, they hurl fiery shooting stars at them and 
with so good an aim that for every shooting star 
we may be sure there is one spirit of evil less in 
the world." 

STARLIGHT AT SEA. 

Overhead the countless stars 
Like eyes of love were beaming, 

Underneath the weary Earth 
All breathless lay a-dreaming. 

The twilight hours like birds flew by, 

As lightly and as free ; 
Ten thousand stars were in the sky, 

Ten thousand in the sea. 



I 

114 STORIES OF STARLAND. \ 

For every wave with dimpled face > 

That leaped upon the air ; 

Had caught a star in its embrace i 

And held it trembling there. ] 

— Amelia B. Welby. ■ 




" ,^^^ 









^ 








STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 

It was a glorious night in June, and the stars 
sparkled like gems against the dark background 
of the sky. 

Harry was enjoying the scene, as the doctor had 




THE GREAT BEAR. 



allowed him to spend the warm summer evenings 
out on the lawn in front of the house. This was 
a royal treat to him. He could see all the sky at 



116 



STOEIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 117 

once, he said to his sister, and could look at the 
stars while she told him stories about them. First 
of all, there was the Great Dipper in the Xorth, 
and the Little Dipper with the Pole Star. He 
was surprised when his sister said that the Great 
Dipper formed part of the group of stars known 
as the Great Bear, and he listened intently while 
she related the story as told in olden times by the 
Grecians, 

LEGENDS OF THE GREAT BEAE. 

^' The Great Bear was said to be Calisto, the 
beautiful dauo:hter of Lvcaon. kino- of Arcadia. 
Juno, the wife of Jupiter, was jealous of Calisto, 
and threatened to destroy her beauty. Fearing 
that Juno would harm her, Jupiter changed her 
into a bear . 

" ' Her arras grow shaggy and deformed with hair, 
Her nails are sharpened into pointed claws, 
Her hands bear half her weight, and tnrn to paws ; 
Her lips, that once could tempt a god, begin 
To grow distorted in an ngly grin : 
And, lest the supplicating brute might reach 
The ears of Jove, she was deprived of speech,' 



118 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

'' Calisto had a son named Areas, who became 
a great hunter. One day he roused a bear in the 
chase, and, not knowmg that it was his mother, 
was about to kill her, when Jupiter, taking pity 
on them both, changed Areas into the Little 
Bear." 

*' Who was Jupiter ? " asked Harry. 

^^ In the olden times, he was supposed to live 
on the top of Mount Olympus, with his beautiful 
wife Juno. When Jupiter was angry with people, 
it is said he would hurl thunderbolts at them, and 
when he was pleased he placed them after death 
among the stars." 

^^ So he was pleased with Calisto and her 
son ? " said Harry. 

''So the story says," replied Mary. ''But he 
also seemed to be afraid of his jealous wife Juno. 

" A modern Greek legend gives another account 
of this constellation or group of stars. It is sup- 
posed that at one time the sky was made of glass 
and it touched the earth on both sides. It was 
soft and thin, and someone nailed a bear skin upon 
it, and the nails became stars ; and the tail is rep- 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 119 

resented by the three bright stars known as the 
handle of the Great Dipper. 

'' Another story is told about a princess who 
was turned into a bear on account of her pride in 
rejecting all suitors. For this her skin was nailed 
to the sky as a warning to other proud maidens. 

'' Would you like to hear what the Indians tell 
about the Great Bear?" asked Mary. 

'^ Indeed I should," replied Harry. '' I had no 
idea the Indians looked at the stars." 

^^They spend so much time on the open plains 
that they cannot help noticing them," said Mary ; 
'^ and they tell many strange legends about 
them. The Iroquois Indians tell the following 
story about the Great Bear, whicli must have 
seemed like a Bear to them, just as it did to the 
Grecians. 

'^ Once upon a time a party of hunters who 
were in pursuit of a bear were suddenly attacked 
by three monster stone giants who destroyed all 
but three of them. These, together with the 
bear, were carried up to the sky by invisible 
hands. The bear is still being pm*sued by the 



120 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

first hunter with his bow, the second hunter 
carries a kettle, and the third is carrying sticks 
wherewith to light a fire when the bear is 
killed. Only in the autumn does the hunter 
pierce the bear with an arrow, and it is said 
that it is the dripping blood that tinges the 
autumn foliage." 

'^ I like that story," said Harry. ^' Don't you 
know another bear story ? " 

^' I can tell you one," replied his sister, ^' that 
is told by the Fox Indians of Louisiana. In the 
days of long ago the Indians believed that the 
trees were able to walk about at night and talk to 
each other. One dark night as a bear was wan- 
dering homeward through a lonely wood, he was 
very much surprised to see the trees walking 
about, nodding their heads and wdiispering to 
each other. 

'^ At first Mr. Bear thought it was only the 
wind; but where he saw a mighty oak before him, 
the next moment it was far behind him or on 
the other side of the road. Presently he hap- 
pened to run against a tree. It was the oak, the 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 121 

lord of trees. The oak was angry and reached 
out one of its long branches and grabbed the bear 
by the tail. The bear struggled all night long to 
get away, and at last the oak, losing all patience, 
gave his tail a final twist and hurled him up into 
the sky. They say his tail was stretched in the 
struggle." 

STORIES OF THE GREAT DIPPER. 

^^ That is a funny story," said Harry, enjoying 
the account of Mr. Bear. '^ Are there any stories 
about the Great Dipper ? I wonder why it is 
called the ^Dipper'?" 

^^ Because it is supposed to look like a dipper," 
replied Mary. ^^ You can see the four large stars 
representing the dipper and the three stars that 
form the handle. It is known as the ^ Saucepan ' 
in the South of France, and in other parts of 
France it is called the 'Chariot of David.' In 
England it is called the 'Plow' and sometimes 
' Charles's Wain.' That means wagon. In Italy 
it is known as the ' Car of Bootes.' Bootes was 



122 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

supposed to be an ox-driver and inventor of the 
plow — the Dipper. One day the driver, oxen, 
and plow were suddenly lifted off the earth and 
placed in the sky. You can see Bootes now, and 
in front of him are the seven stars of the Great 




THE GKEAT DIPPER AND THE LITTLE 
DIPPER. 



Dipper, which he must drive around the Pole Star 
for all eternity. 

**A pretty story is told of a peasant who met 
our Saviour near the shores of Galilee and gave 
Him a ride in his wagon. As a reward he was 
offered a home in heaven ; but he preferred to 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 123 

drive his wagon from east to west for all eternity, 
and his wish was granted. There stands his 
wagon in the sky, and the brightest of the three 
stars is called ^ The Eider.' 

'^ In North Germany * The Eider ' is supposed 
to start out on his journey before midnight, and to 
return twenty-four hours later, his wagon turning 
round with a great noise. He urges on his horses 
with loud cries of ^ hi ! he ! ' which it is said 
have sometimes been heard by lucky mortals." 

^* Hush, sister," said Harry softly ; '' let us see 
if we can hear him now." 

^' No, you could only hear him at midnight," 
replied his sister — ''that is, if the story were true." 

''It is only like a fairy story, then?" asked 
Harry. 

"All these stories are fairy stories," replied 
Mary ; " and here is another. 

" A Basque legend relates that a certain hus- 
bandman had two oxen stolen from him by two 
wicked thieves. He sent his laborer after them, 
but he did not return. Then he sent his house- 
keeper, and his dog, and finally he decided to go 



124 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

after the thieves himself. He was so angry that 
he lost his temper, and in pmiishment for the re- 
marks he made he was condemned to continue his 
search through the sky for all eternity. There 
you can see him now. The two oxen are the first 
two stars, tlien follow the two thieves, and lastly 
the two servants, the husbandman, and the little 
dog." 

^' Where is the little dog? " asked Harry. 

^^ Look at the three stars in the handle of the 
Dipper," replied Mary. " Now look at the middle 
star, and if you have good eyes you can see a lit- 
tle star close beside it. Here, look through this 
opera-glass and you can see it better." 

** I see it now," said Harry, as he looked 
through the glasses. " So that is the little 
dog ? " 

'' Yes," replied his sister ; '^ and the Arabians 
gave it the name of Alcor." 

''Dear Httle Alcor," said Harry, as he continued 
looking at liim, '' I am going to look for you 
every evening now, because I can see the Great 
Dipper from my window." 



STOKIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 



125 



*^ So you can," replied Mary ; ^' I forgot that it 
faced north. 

" The American Indians tell a quaint story about 
the Little Dipper. Would you like to hear it ? " 




THE LITTLE BEAR. 



" If you are not tired, sister," said Harry. 

"You will get tired first, for I enjoy telling you 
these stories, if they amuse yon, dear. Well, 
here is one that I came across some years ago 
among a collection of Indian legends. 

" Once upon a time a party of Indians went out 



126 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

hunting in a strange country and lost their way. 
They wandered about for many moons." 

^' What does that mean ? " asked Harry. 

'' I suppose they did not know anything about 
our months, so they counted from full moon to 
full moon. This shows how much they observe 
the sky. But, as I was saying, they wandered 
about for many moons, and at last the chiefs de- 
cided to hold a council and pray to the gods to 
show them the way home. During the dance 
that preceded the council, while the flames of 
burnt offerings were ascending to the gods, a little 
child appeared suddenly in their midst and said 
she had been sent as their guide. 

^' She said she was the Spirit of the Pole Star, 
and that if they followed where it led them they 
would reach their home in the far North. Tlie 
hunters thanked the child, and following her advice 
they soon reached home. Here they held another 
council, and decided to call the Pole Star, ' the 
star which never moves,' by which name it is 
known among these Indians to this day. 

'' When the hunters died it is said they were 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 127 

taken up to the sky, and we can see them still fol- 
lowmg the Pole Star. The hunters are supposed 
to be the stars that form the Little Dipper." 

"■ They are smaller than the stars of the Great 
Dipper," said Harry, '' and the dipper is smaller, 
but I can see it quite well. And what are the 
stars between the two Dippers ? " 

STOEY OF THE DEAGON. 

'^ They curve in and out like a great dragon," 
said Mary ; '' and two bright stars mark its 
eyes." 

" Yes, it does look something like a dragon," 
said Harry. ^^ What is its name ? " 

'' It is called the Dragon, as that was the name 
given to it by the Grecians long ago. This was 
supposed to be the dragon that Juno placed as 
guardian of a tree covered with golden apples. 
No one dared to touch the tree while the dread 
monster was there. But a brave man named Her- 
cules was not afraid, and killed the dragon. To 
reward it for guarding the tree Juno placed it 
among the stars. 



128 



STORIES OF STARLAND. 



'' See the two bright stars that mark the eyes 
of the Dragon, and quite close to it is Hercules, 
represented in the olden maps as crushing the 
head of the dragon under his foot. Bootes, who 




BOOTES AND HIS HUNTING DOGS. 



drives the Great Bear around the Pole Star, is 
very near Hercules. There you can see him, with 
his hunting dogs." 

^' Where, sister ? I cannot see him," said 
Harry. 

^^ Look right overhead, and to the west you will 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 129 

see Bootes with a very bright star ; and to the 
east is Hercules, or the Kneeler, as he is sometimes 
called. Now, in between there is a pretty little 
half-circle of stars like a crown. This is called 
the Northern Crown. 

STORIES OF THE XOETHERX CROTTN". 

"I can see that very well," replied Harry, '*for 
it is exactly overhead, and I cannot help seeing 
Hercules and the Bear-driver. They are large 
enough," he continued, laughing. "Why are the 
little stars called the Northern Crown ? " 

" This was supposed to be a beautiful crown 
of seven stars given by Bacchus to Ariadne, the 
daughter of Minos, second king of Crete. 

" ' Her crown among the stars he placed, 
And with an eternal constellation grac'd, 
The golden circlet mounts, and as it flies 
Its diamonds twinkle in the distant skies.' 

** There is a pretty legend told about it by the 
Shawnee Indians. They call tliis group of stars 
the ^ Celestial Sisters,' on account of the story, 
which is as follows : 



130 STORIES OF STAKLAND. 

'' White Hawk was a great hunter, handsome, 
tall, and strong. One day, while wandering 
through the forest in search of game, he suddenly 
found himself on the borders of a prairie. It was 
covered with grass, and flowers, and a ring was 
worn through the grass, without any path leading 
to or from it. White Hawk was surprised at 
this, so he hid behind some bushes and watched. 

^' ' Soon lie heard, high in the heavens, 
Issuing from the feathery clouds, 
Sonnds of music, quick descending, 
As if angels came in crowds.' 

'* Looking up he saw a small speck in the sky 
which gradually became larger and larger. It 
was a silver basket containing twelve beautiful 
maidens, who leaped out as it touched the ground. 
They danced around in the ring, beating time on 
a silver ball. White Hawk gazed at the fairies in 
wonder, and, rusliing out from liis hiding place, 
tried to capture the youngest and prettiest. But 
the sisters were too nimble for him, and, jump- 
ing into the basket, they were soon far away in 
the sky. 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 131 

*MVliite Hawk was vexed, but he came again 
next day. This time he disguised himself as a 
rabbit, but one of the little sisters saw him 




THE ]S'OIlTHERX CROWX, AND BOOTES, 
THE BEAR-DRITER. 



creeping toward them. She gave the alarm just 
in time for them to escape. 

*' Next dav White Hawk diso^iised himself as a 
mouse, and hid in the stump of a tree that he had 
moved close to the fairy ring. The sharp-eyed 
little fairy noticed that the stump was not in the 
same place, and warned her sisters, but they only 
liaughed at her. Tliey even ran around it striking 



132 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

it in fun. Out ran White Hawk, caught the 
youngest and prettiest, and took her home as his 
bride. 

'^ For a while they were happy, but the * Celes- 
tial Sister ' became homesick, and longed for her 
sisters in the sky. One day when White Hawk 
was out hunting she made a silver basket and, 
taking it to the fairy ring, she stepped into it, 
while she sang a magic chant. White Hawk was 
returning home across tlie fields just as the basket 
rose above the tops of the trees, and, hearing the 
music, he Ivuew what had. happened. 

'* But his wife did not forget him, and her father 
sent for him and invited him to come to the sky, 
where he is now one of the bright stars shining 
near the Northern Crown." 

'^ That must be the brightest star in Bootes," 
said Harry. '' What is it called ? " 

'' Arcturus," replied his sister. *' Near Bootes 
is Virgo, tlie Virgin who lived on Earth during 
the Golden Age when people were very good. 
Near her are the scales in which she weighed the 
good and evil deeds of men, 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 133 

STOEY OF THE LIOI^. 

" Just above the Virgin, in the west, you can 
see some stars that look like a sickle," said 
Mary. 

Harry looked in the direction pointed out by 




LEO, THE LION. 



his sister, and there he saw the sickle plainly 
outlined bv a few brio-ht stars. 

'' Is there a story about it, sister? " he asked. 

" Yes," replied his sister ; ''or rather there is a 
story not about the sickle, but about the group of 



134 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

stars to which it belongs, known as the constella- 
tion of the Lion. 

** You remember how jealous Juno was, and 
she was even displeased with a brave man named 
Hercules, because he was afraid of nothing. She 
told her cousin to command Hercules to bring 
him the skin of a fierce lion that roamed at large 
through the forests. Hercules was not afraid, and 
attacked the lion. Finding he could not kill it 
with his club and arrows, he strangled the animal 
with his hands. He returned home carrying the 
dead lion on his shoulders, but Juno's cousin was 
so frightened at the sight of it and at this proof of 
the great strength of the hero that he ordered him 
to tell the story of his brave deeds in future at a 
safe distance outside the town." 

'' What a coward Juno's cousin must have 
been ! " said Harry disdainfully. ^' I suppose 
Hercules laughed at him." 

^^ Of course he did," said Mary. ''But he was 
not the only brave man Juno disliked. Orion, 
the mighty hunter, also aroused her anger because 
he boasted that nothing could harm him. She 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 135 

sent a scorpion out of the earth, and it stung him, 
causing his death. See the heart of the scorpion, 




THE SCORPION. 



marked by a bright red star named Antares. 
Above it is the serpent and the serpent-holder. 



THE MILKY WAY. 



*' Now look at the band of silvery light reaching 
from the north to the south. That is the Milky 
Way, and it is made up of millions of bright 
stars. There are large stars and little stars, and 



136 



STORIES OF STA ELAND. 



Professor Barnard thinks that there may be some 
very small stars forming out of the star-mist. 
These little stars glitter in vast beds of glow- 
ing gas. As scientists believe, this gas is the 




THE MILKY WAY IS CROWDED WITH STARS. 



matter from which worlds and suns are made. 
The stars at these points in space seem to be 
actually growing out of the star-mist now sur- 
rounding them. I shall show you to-morrow 
some fine photographs Professor Barnard has 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 137 

taken of the Milky Way where you can see 
this star-mist in the background of the stars. 

" According to a French legend, the stars in 
the Milky Way are lights held by angel-spirits to 
show us the way to heaven. The Grecians called 
the Milky Way the road to the palace of heaven. 
On the road stand the palaces of the illustrious 
gods, while the common people of the skies 
live on either side of them. 

" Even the iVlgonquin Indians had something 
to say about it, for they believed that it was the 
* Path of Souls ' leading to the villages in the sun. 
As the spirits travel along the pathway, their 
blazing camp-fires may be seen as bright stars. 
Longfellow refers to this in his poem ^Hiawatha,' 
in describing the journey of Chibiabos to th^ land 
of the hereafter. 

** While hunting deer he crossed the Big Sea 
Water and was dragged beneath the treacherous 
ice by evil spirits. By magic he was summoned 
thence, and, hearing the music and singing, he, — 

*' ' Came obedient to the summons, 
To the doorway of the wigwarm, 



138 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

But to enter they forbade him. 
Through a chink a coal they gave him, 
Through the door a burning fire-brand. 
Euler in the Land of Spirits, 
Ruler o'er the dead they made him, 
Telling him a lire to kindle 
For all those who died hereafter, 
Camp-fires for their night encampments, 
On their solitary journey 
To the kingdom of Ponemah, 
To the land of the hereafter.' 



A SWEDISH LEGEND. 

'* According to a Swedish legend, there once 
lived on earth two mortals who loved each other. 
When they died they were doomed to dwell on 
different stars, far, far apart. But, ^ as they sat 
and listened to the music of the spheres,' they 
thought of building a bridge of light that should 
reach from star to star, till it spanned the distance 
separating them from each other. 

" 'They toiled and built a thousand years in love's all- 
powerful might. 
And so the Milky Way was niade a bridge of starry 
light.' 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 139 

^' Now, HaiTy, look at the Milky Way in the 
northern part of the sky, and what do you see ? " 
asked Mary. 

*' Some stars that look like a W/' replied Harry ; 
^' and just below it is another but larger W." 

^^ The small W is Cassiopeia," said Mary, ^^ and 
the large one is Cepheus ; but I shall tell you their 
story another time, as it is getting late now. Un- 
der the large W, you will see some stars that look 
like a large cross. This is sometimes called the 
Northern Cross, but it is better known as the 
Swan. 

LEGEND OF THE SWAI^. 

^' The ^ Swan ' is supposed to represent a wonder- 
ful musician named Orpheus. Apollo gave him 
a magic harp, which he played with such sweetness 
that the wild beasts of the forest were tamed by 
its sounds, rapid rivers ceased to flow, and moun- 
tains and trees listened to the music. 

^' One day Orpheus met a beautiful maiden 
named Eurydice, and won her for his bride. But 
their happiness did not last long, as a serpent 



140 



STORIES OF STARLAKD. 



lurking in the grass stung her foot, and she died 
of the wound. 

^' Orpheus mourned her sadly, until at last he 
died and his spirit met hers in the kingdom of 




THE SWAN. 



Pluto. Afterward Orpheus and Eurydice were 
placed among the stars. You can see the harp 
beside Orpheus, and it is adorned with a sparkling 
blue star named Vega. 

*' And now one more story," said Mary, as she 
heard tlie church clock chime nine, '^ and then we 
must say ' good-by ' to the stars for to-night." 



STORIES OF THE StJM:\rER STARS. 141 

'^ It has been lovely/' said Hany. ^^ I could 
listen to these stories all night long. How I shall 
enjoy the stars since you have told me so much 
about them! What are you going to tell me 
now ? " 

'' Just under the Swan can you see a bright 
star, and a little star on each side of it ? " asked 
Marv. 

Harry looked, and after a few moments he found 
them. When his sister had made sure that he 
could see the stars she meant, she began her story 
as follows : 



MEETIXG OF THE STAE-LOVERS. 

'^ The Japanese call the Milky Way the Silver 
River of Heaven, and they believe that on the 
seventh day of the seventh month (7th of July), 
the Shepherd-boy star and the Spinning-maiden 
star cross the Milky Way to meet each other. 
Vega, the bright star in the harp, is supposed to be 
the spinning-maiden, and on the other side of 
the Milky AVay, crossing over where you see the 



142 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

bright star and the little star on each side, you 
will find the shepherd boy, otherwise known as 
tlie Goat. These stars are known among the 
Japanese as the ' boy with an ox ' and ' the girl 
with a shuttle/ about whom the following story is 
told : 

'^ There once lived on the banks of the Silver 
River of Heaven a beautiful maiden who was the 
daughter of the Sun. Night and morning she was 
always weaving, blending the roseate hues of 
morning with the silvery tints of evening. That 
is why she ^vas called the Spinning maiden. The 
Sun-king chose a husband for her. He was a 
Shepherd boy who guarded his flocks on the banks 
of the celestial stream. 

*' After meeting him the Spinning maiden 
ceased to work, and the bright hues of morning 
were left to take care of themselves, while the 
silvery tints of evening hung like ragged fringe on 
the dark mantle of night. The Sun-king, believing 
tliat the Sheplierd boy was to blame, banished 
him to the other side of the Silver River, telling 
him that only once a year, on the seventh day of 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 143 

the seventh month, could the Spinning maiden 
come to see him. 

'' The king called together myriads of doves 
and commanded them to make a bridge over the 
river of stars. Supported on their wings, the 
Shepherd boy crossed over to the other side. No 
sooner had he set foot on the opposite shore than 
the doves flew away, filling the heavens with their 
billing and cooing. The weeping wife and loving 
husband stood awhile gazing at each other from 
afar, and then they separated, one in search of 
another flock of sheep, the other to ply her shut- 
tle daring the long hours of daylight. 

^'Thus the days passed away, and the Sun-king 
rejoiced that his daughter was busy again. But 
when night comes, and all the lamps of heaven are 
lighted, the lovers stand beside the banks of the 
starry river and gaze lovingly at each other, 
eagerly awaiting the seventh day of the seventh 
month. As the time draws near the Japanese are 
filled with anxiety. What if it should rain, for 
the River of Heaven is filled to the brim, and a 
single raindrop would make it overflow ! This 



144 STORIES OF STAKLAND. 

would cause a flood, and the bridge of doves would 
be swept away. 

*'Bat if the night is clear, then the Spinning 
maiden crosses over in safety, and meets her Shep- 
herd boy. This she does every year except when 




THE EAGLE. 



it rains. That is why the Japailese hope for clear 
weather on the 7th of July, when the ^ meeting of 
the star-lovers ' is made a gala day all over the 
country." 

'^ Sister, I can see the Spinning-maiden star, 
and the Shepherd boy, but where is the bridge 
of doves?" asked Harry. 

'' Across the Milky Way," said Mary. 

'* See the bright star, which is called Altair, and 



STORIES OF THE SUMMER STARS. 145 

one little star on each side. We call that the 
Eagle, so if you change the story a little you can 
say the Eagle takes the Spinning maiden across 
the Silver River of Heaven/' 

THE STARS AND THE VIOLETS. 

When the sky was first made and suspended 

From the far and invisible bars, 
It enveloped the world, and God fashioned 

Small windows, and these are the stars. 

And the bits of the sky, through the evening, 
Fluttered down to the sod and the dew, 

And behold! in the morn they had blossomed. 
And these are the violets blue. 

THE NIGHTS. 

Oh, the Summer night 

Has a smile of light 
And she sits on a sapphire throne ; 

Whilst the sweet winds load her 

With garlands of odor, 
From the bud to the rose o'erblown I 

But the Autumn night 

Has a piercing sight, 
And a step both strong and free ; 

And a voice for wonder, 

Like the wrath of the thunder, 
When he shouts to the stormy sea ! 



146 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

And the Winter night 

Is all cold and white, 
And she singeth a song of pain ; 

Till the wild bee hummeth, 

And the warm spring conieth, 
When she dies in a dream of rain ! 

— Adelaide Proctor. 

THE CALLING OF THE STARS. 

God's presence through the twilight stillness glides, 

To spirits vocal — silent to the ear ; 
He calls by name eacli fair star where it hides, ; 

And each star brightens, as it answers 'Here ! ' ; 

Though we too call the stars, they answer not, ] 

They do not softly come like children shy i 

At a fond parent's calling, for, I wot, I 

We do not know what names God calls them by. j 











THE GREAT TELESCOPE AT LICK OBSERVATORY. 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 

I heard the trailing garments of the night 

Sweep through her marble halls, 
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light 

From the celestial walls. 

—Longfellow, 

Winter had come with its cold north winds 
and frosty air. The stars glittered like gems 
against the dark velvet sky, and seemed reflected 
in the mantle of pure white snow that covered the 
earth. Mary had asked Harry's nurse to move his 
couch into her room so that he might see the stars 
from the windows, one looking south, the other 
east. Impatiently Harry now awaited his sister, 
who had promised to take him on another trip to 
starland. The room was in total darkness, and 
nurse had raised the curtains. Looking right into 
one window was the miglity giant Orion, while 
the Twins peeped into another. 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 149 

STOEY OF THE KOYAL FAMILY. 

*' It is as good as a plav," said Hany, as his 
sister started to tell him about them. 

'^ First of all," she said, " I am going to tell you 
the story of the Royal Family, although we can- 
not see them from this window. You can get a 
glimpse of Cepheus from your own room, but the 
rest of the Royal Family are overhead. You 
would have to make a hole through the roof if 
you wanted to watch them while I told their 
story." 

'^ If we could go out-of-doors, as we did last 
summer, could we see them overhead?'' asked 
Harry. 

'*Yes," replied his sister; ''but it is too cold 
now to look at them except from a warm, cozy 
room. To-morrow I shall show you a map of 
these stars, and wdien the days grow warm again 
we can look for them in the sky." 

'' Can you see them during the summer-time as 
well as the winter ? " asked Harrv. 

*' Yes, W'C can see them all the year round, just 



150 



STORIES OF STAELAND. 



as we can always see the Pole Star and the Great 
Dipper. The Royal Family consists of King 
Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, and her daughter 




QUEEN CASSIOPEIA. 



Andromeda, sometimes called the ^ Chained Lady.' 
Perseus, the rescuer, is at the feet of Andromeda, 
while her head rests upon the shoulder of the 
winged horse Pegasus. 

*' The Grecians told a wonderful story about 
this family. It appears that Cassiopeia boasted 
of her beauty, and said she was more attractive 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 151 

than Juiio, the wife of Jupiter. As for her (laugh- 
ter Andromeda, not a nymph in the sea could 
compare with her in good looks. You may im- 




KING CEPHEUS. 



agine how Juno and the sea-nymphs felt when 
they heard this vain boast ! 

*^ They determined to have revenge, and Juno 
asked Jupiter to punish Cassiopeia. So she was 
sent away from the earth and placed among the 
stars with her husband Cepheus. 

"As for Andromeda, the sea-nymphs asked 
Neptune to send a sea-monster to devour her. 



152 STOEIES OF STARLAND. 

She was chained to a rock so that she might not 
escape this terrible fate; but just as the monster 




THE FAIR ANDROMEDE. 



was approaching a brave hero named Perseus 
came to her rescue. 

** Perseus was returning through the air on his 
winged horse Pegasus from a terrible encounter 
with the Gorgons. These were three sisters who 
frightened everyone that saw them. Serpents 
were wreathed around their lieads instead of hair, 
their hands were of brass, their bodies were cov- 



STORIES OF THE TTIXTER STARS. 



153 



ered with scales, and their eyes had the power of 
turning all they looked at to stone. Perseus had 
cut off the heads of one of these terrible beings, 
and when he saw the monster approaching An- 




PERSErS. 



dromeda, he turned the head which he still held 
in his hand toward it, and in a moment it 
turned to stone. 

"As a reward for his bravery, he was placed 
after his death among the stars, and near the fair 
Andromeda. He still holds the head in his hand, 



154 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

and a star named Algol, or the Demon, as the 
Arabs call it, marks the evil eye. Sometimes it is 
bright, but in a few hours it will grow dim, as 
though winking at the people on earth. For this 
reason it is called a variable or changing star." 

"What is that, sister? " asked Harry. 

"A star that is brighter one time than another. 
Supposing someone kept turning the wick of the 
lamp up and down so that at one moment the 
room would be very bright and the next moment 
quite dim. You would call that a changing light. 
So it is with these stars., only in the case of Algol 
it is a planet that goes around it and at times cuts 
off part of its light. For two days and a half it is 
very bright, then during three or four hours it 
begins to get dim, and remains so for twenty 
minutes and then it gets bright again. 

'* Supposing you were trying to read by lamp- 
light, and I should now and then hold a book 
between the lamp and you. Each time I did so 
the light on your book would grow dim. There 
is another variable or changing star named Mira, 
in the group of stars called Cetus, which is no 



STORIES OF THE TVI^TTER STARS. 155 

other than the sea-monster which was sent to 
devour Andromeda. You can see it if you look 
out of the window facing south, and you will 
notice that it is at a safe distance from Andromeda^ 
who is almost exactly overhead just now. 

STOEY OF THE ELSHES. 

'^ Not far from the sea-monster are the Fishes, 
and the story about them is as follows : 

'' One day when Venus and her little son Cupid 
were walkhig beside the banks of a river they 
were frightened at seeing a terrible giant named 
Typhon. Flames flashed from his eyes, and as he 
glared at Venus and Cupid they were overcome 
with fear and called on Jupiter to help them. 
He chaiiged them into hshes. and afterward 
placed them among the stars. 

'' Between Cetus and (Jrion you can see some 
stars winding in and out. and they are part of 
the Pdver Fridanus. A daring youth named 
Phaeton tried to drive the chariot of tlie sun 
through the sky one day. Jnpiter struck him 



156 



STORIES OF STARLAND. 



with a thunderbolt, and hurled him from heaven 
into the river below. 




RIVER ERIDANUS. 



** * At once from life and from the cliariot driven, 
Th' ambitious boy fell thunderstruck from heaven. 



The breathless Phaeton, with flaming hair. 

Shot from the chariot like a falling star 

That in a summer's evening from the top 

Of heaven drops down, or seems at least to drop.' 

'* His sisters mourned his unhappy end, and 
were changed by Jupiter into poplars, which are 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 157 

still to be seen on the banks of the River 
Eridanus. 

*' 'All the night long their mournful watch they keep, 
And all the day stand round the tomb and weep.' " 

" Poor Phaeton," said Harry, as Mary finished 
the story. '' And is that Phaeton with those 
three bright stars near the river ? " 




CLOUD OP STAR-MIST IN ORION. 



'* No ; that is Orion," replied his sister, '^ and 
the three bright stars mark his belt. Under it 
you can see a small cloud of mist, if you look 
at it through your opera glass. It is clinging 



158 STOEIES OF STARLAND. 

around one of the faint stars in the sword. This 
is star-mist, from which other stars are being 
made, and it looks small only because it is so far 
away from us ; but there is enough star-dust 
there to make thousands of bright stars. Astron- 
omers called these clouds nebulae." 

'' Who was Orion ? '' asked Harry. '' Won't 
you tell me more about him ? '^ 

** He was a mighty hunter, and in the old 
maps you can see him represented as warding off 
the attack of the Bull, which is glaring at him 
with its bright red eye named Aldebaran. A 
story was told by the Grecians about this bull : 

" Once upon a time there was a beautiful little 
girl named Europa, and she was a princess of 
Phoenicia. One day she was playing with some 
friends and gathering flowers in a meadow near 
the seashore. Suddenly a snow-white bull ap- 
peared, and the little children were very much 
afraid. But the princess was not afraid. She 
made a pretty garland of flowers and placed it 
around the bull's neck. When it knelt down in 
front of her as though to tliank her, she jumped 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 



159 



on its back, and it ran away with her down to the 
sea. Plunging under the waves, it swam with 
her to Crete. The Grecians thought they saw 




THE BULL, AND THE PLEIADES. 



the bull outlined among the stars in the sky, but 
only its head and shoulders are there." 

'* But there are not any animals really in the 
sky, are there ? " said Harry. 

'' No," said Mary, laughing at the question ; 
" but if you look at the stars you can imagine 
you see outlines of bulls and serpents and all 
kinds of strange animals. Only you have to 



160 STORIES OF STAELAND. 

imagine very much, and this is exactly what the 
Grecians did. 

'' In the shoulder of the bull is the pretty little 
cluster of stars known as the Pleiades." 

STORY OF THE PLEIADES. 

'' What is a cluster of stars ? " asked Harry. 
*' Hundreds and thousands of stars forming 




A BALL OF SUNS. 



a family party, as it were ; and seen from earth 
they seem to be closely packed together. But if 
we could draw near to them, however, we should 
find that they were very far apart If you look at 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 161 

the Pleiades through your opera glass you will 
see quite a number of little stars, and if you could 
see it through the large telescope at the Lick 
Observatory you would be able to count hundreds 
of stars. When the cluster had its photograph 
taken, not long ago, six thousand stars were 
counted , so you might call the Pleiades a ' ball 
of suns.' There are hundreds of these clusters, 
or ' family parties,' in the sky — mighty regiments 
marching across the star-depths." 

'' What do you mean, sister ? " asked Harry in 
surprise. 

" All the stars are moving," replied his sister. 
^* Some in one direction, some in another ; but 
the stars in the Pleiades are all drifting in the 
same direction. 

*^ The Pleiades were said to be the seven 
daughters of Atlas, and were so beautiful that 
Orion pursued them across wood and dale, till the 
sisters called on Jupiter to help them. He 
changed them into doves, and afterward placed 
them among the stars. Orion still seems to be 
pursuing them among the stars ; but, strange to 



162 



STORIES OF STARLAND. 



say, they are drifting toward him now instead of 
away from him." 

'' Then he will soon catch them," said Harry, 




ORION, THE GREAT HUNTER. 



laughing at the idea. '* I once heard something 
about the ' Lost Pleiad/ What does that mean ? " 

'^ One of the seven stars supposed to represent 
the sisters does not shine as brightly as the rest, 
so the Grecians called it the ' Lost Pleiad.' 

^* Some say the Lost Pleiad is Electra, who hid 
her face in her hands so that she might not see 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 163 

the burning of Troy. But she seems to have 
recovered from her fright, as her star now glows 
as brightly as the rest. Others said it was 
Merope, who married a mortal while her sisters 
married gods. 

^' An Iroquois legend accounts for the Lost 
Pleiad by saying it is a little Indian boy in the 
sky who is very homesick. When he cries he 
covers his face with his hands and thus hides his 
light." 

'* Do tell me about him," said Harry, looking 
forward to a treat, as he always enjoyed these 
Indian stories. 

'^ The story is as follows," said Mary : 



STORY or THE SEVEN LITTLE INDIAIN^ BOYS. 

*' Once upon a time seven little Indian boys 
lived in a log cabin in the woods. Every 
evening when the stars peeped out of the sky 
these children would take hold of hands and 
dance around^ while they sang the ' Song of the 



164 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

Stars/ and the stars learned to love them. They 
would often beckon to the little boys, inviting 
them to come up to the sky ; but the children 
loved their home on earth too well. 

" But one day they found fault with every- 
thing. The oatmeal was too hot at breakfast, 
there was an absence of pie at dinner-time ; and 
the distressing news that they were only to have 
corn and beans for supper was a climax to their 
* tale of woe.' 

'^ Meanwhile their mother calmly ate her 
supper, while her seven little boys looked on in 
hungry dismay. When supper-time was over 
they filed slowly and sadly out of the cabin. 
Their mother felt sorry for them, it is true ; but 
she knew that if she gave in now she would have 
to give in always. She watched her boys as they 
danced as usual that evening and sang their 
song to the stars; and then she hurried into the 
cabin and cleared away the uneaten corn and 
beans. 

*' iVlas ! she did not hear the song her children 
sang to the stars. When the stars beckoned as 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 165 

usual to the little boys, inviting them to come 
up to the sky, they had accepted the invitation. 
As they danced round and round their heads and 
their hearts grew lighter, and in a few moments 
they were soaring like birds through the air. 
Just then their mother went to the cabin door to 
tell them it was time to come home ; and imagine 
her horror when she saw her children slowly dis- 
appearing in the sky! 

^' And now every evening the lonely mother 
gazes at seven bright stars in the sky, which she 
fondly believes are her seven little boys, but 
which are really the seven stars known to us as 
the Pleiades. One star in the group does not 
shine as brightly as the rest, and this must be one 
of the little Indians who is homesick." 

** I shall never forget that story," said Harry, 
who had enjoyed every word of it ; " and now 
I wish you would tell me about that very bright 
star on the other side of Orion. I can only just 
see it, but it is so beautiful. It is bluish-white, 
and twinkles so brightly." 

'' That is Sirius, the brightest star in this part 



166 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

of the sky/' replied Mary, '' and ever so much 
larger than the sun." 

" What makes it twinkle ? " asked Harrv. 



WHY THE STAES TWINKLE. 

*^ When Ave look at the stars we have to see 
them through the great ocean of air that sur- 
rounds the earth," replied Mary. ^' Like the 
Atlantic Ocean, when the ocean of air is disturbed 
there are waves, and we have to look at the stars 
through the waves. That is why their light seems 
to dance about so. When the air is still then 
the starlight is steady, but when it moves the 
stars twinkle. If we could go to the moon, 
where there is not any air, Ave would not see the 
stars twinkle." 

*^ Then I should rather stay here," said Harry, 
'^ because I like to watch them dancing about. 
They seem so merry, I am sure they are laughing 
at us, sister. Is there a story about Sirius ? " 

''It is part of .a group of stars named the 
* Great Dog,' she replied ; '' and higher up you 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 



167 



will see the ' Little Dog.' These are the hounds 
that Orion always took with him when he went 




THE GREAT DOG. 



hunting. They seem to have even followed him 
to the sky. 

^^ Sirius is also known as the Dog-star, because 
when it was seen by the Egyptians in the east 
just before dawn it was thought to announce the 
overflow of the Nile. Therefore the Egyptians 
watched this star, which warned them, like a 
faithful dog, of the coming deluge. It was their 
watch-dog or sentinel. 



lea 



STOKlES OF St A RL AND. 



'^ Now I am going to tell you about the Twins, 
two brothers who loved each other dearly while 
on earth. They were named Castor and Pollux. 
Castor was killed in battle. Pollux could not 




THE HEAVENLY TWINS, CASTOR AND POLLUX. 



bear to remain on earth without him, so Jupiter 
placed him in the sky next to his brother. 

'^ If you look through the glass you can see 
that Polhix is a golden-yellow star and Castor 
has a green thige." 

'* Are all the stars colored ? " asked Harry. 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 169 

THE FLOWEES OF HEAVEN. 

" Yes," replied his sister, '* and they are as 
varied in color as the flowers of the earth. The 
stars may be called ^ The flowers of heaven.' 
Longfellow says so beautifully : 

" ' Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven 
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the 
angels.' 

" Some of the natives of Australia believe that 
when the flowers die on earth they rise on the 
winds and float away to the fair fields of heaven, 
where they flourish forever in immortal beauty. 
We cannot see the colors of these flowers of 
heaven very well, on account of the air that sur- 
rounds the earth. If it were removed, then the 
dark sky would seem to be covered with starry 
flowers of all the colors of the rainbow." 

" How beautiful ! " said Harry thoughtfully. 
" How I wish we could see them that way ! " 

'* But even as it is," said his sister, '' you can 
see some of these colors. Look at white Sirius, 
that sometimes seems to me tinged with blue, 



170 STOEIES OF STARLAND. 

and then at red x\ldebaran in the eye of the 
bull, and a creamy star called Capella just 

near the Twins. So vou can see some of the 

t/ 

colors. And now a few more words about 
Castor, which is a double star. That is, it 
is made up of two bright stars, and they go 
around each other. 

^^ Professor Ball was once showing the stars 
through his telescope to some friends, when he 
pointed out this double star to them. First of 
all, he told them to note the different colors of 
the stars, for one was white, the other green. All 
double stars are of complementary colors. One 
may be green and the other red, one blue and 
the other orange. 

'* Then Professor Ball told his visitors that the 
stars went round each other. 

^' ' Oh, yes! ' said one of the visitors. ' I saw 
them going round in the telescope.' 

*^ But it was the twinkling that made the stars 
appear to dance around each other. In reality, 
he would have had to remain with his eye at the 
telescope more than a hundred years before he 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 171 

could have seen the stars go completely around 
each other." 

:n^umber of the staes. 

'' I wonder how many stars there are in the 
sky, sister," said Harry. '^ Do you think we 
could count them ? " 

'^ I read somewhere," replied his sister, '^ that 
the stars are as plentiful as the sands on the sea- 
shore. Still, in the whole sky, the number bright 
enough to be seen without a telescope is only 
from six to seven thousand in a clear, moonless 
sky. With an opera glass you can bring the 
number up to one hundred thousand. A small 
telescope can show about three hundred thou- 
sand, while with a telescope such as the one at the 
Lick Observatory the number would be nearly 
one hundred million. But it is possible to photo- 
graph the stars, and millions of stars have had 
their pictures taken. Probably we would never 
have known anything about them but the camera 
caught them, and now they are being named and 
labeled, so that they cannot escape us again. In 



172 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

fact, some of the stars are so far away that if we 
had not captured them in this way they would 
have remahied hidden to us forever." 

'' What do you mean, sister ? "said Harry, his 
eyes filled with surprise. 

*' I mean, dear, that some stars are so far away 
that their light has not yet reached us. Don't 
you remember what I told you about Jupiter's 
moons : that they are so far away that light 
takes about half an hour in coming from them to 
the earth. Well, the stars are hundreds of times 
as far away as Jupiter's moons. So far away are 
they that even from the nearest — a star seen in 
the southern hemisphere — light takes four years 
and four months in reaching us, although light 
travels more than 186,000 miles a second. 

DISTANCE OF THE STAES. 

*' Look at the Pole Star some night, and you 
will not see it as it is now, but as it was more 
than sixty-two years ago. All this time its 
light has been on its way to Planet Earth. If 
a planet travels around the Pole Star, or Polaris, 



STOBIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 173 

as it is sometimes called, and an astronomer on 
that planet looked at the earth he would not see 
it as it is now, but as it was more than sixty-two 
years ago. There are other stars so far away 
that light takes hundreds of years in coming 
here. Perhaps they faded out long ago, but the 
message is still on its Avay. It does seem strange 
to think of people who may be living on distant 
worlds in space, watching our little world, but we 
need not fear. The earth is so small that it could 
not be seen at all, even from the nearest star. 
At that distance Giant Sun would not look quite 
as bright as Sirius does to us, and giant Planet 
Jupiter would only appear as a faint speck of 
light near the sun." 

"■ How far away everything seems to be ! " said 
Harry. '^ Yet you said just now that we could 
tell what the stars are made of. How can we do 
that ? " 



174 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

WHAT ARE THE STARS MADE OF? 

''The stars are made of iron, copper, zinc, and 
other such metals, but the heat is so intense that 
these metals are turned into vapor. You have 
seen the steam coming from the spout of a kettle 
when water is boilino;, and vou know then that 
the water is scalding hot. But imagine heat so 
great that masses of iron and copper are not only 
melted but turned into vapor. Then you have 
some idea of the intense heat that prevails on the 
stars. The rains that fall on earth are made up 
of drops of water, but the rainfalls on the stars 
must be drops of melting iron, while the clouds 
that form are sheets of molten metal," 

'' How wonderful! " said Harry ; ^' and how do 
we know this, as the stars are so far away?" 

" By means of a little instrument known as the 
spectroscope, or light-sifter. But you must wait 
till you are a little older before I can explain that 
to you, as it is sometliing very difficult to under- 
stand. At any rate, I can tell you tliis, that 
when we want to find out wliat a star is made of 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 175 

we catch a ray of its light and examine it with 
the light-sifter. As Professor Ball quoted in one 
of his lectures : 

" ^ Twinkle, twinkle, little star, 
Now we find out what you are, 
When unto the midnight sky 
We the spectroscope apply.' " 

" And can vou tell how old the stars are ? " 
asked Harry ; '' because when you were talking 
about the planets you said some are old and some 
are young." 

^' This same little spectroscope tells us that as 
well, and we can recognize the stars that are in 
their infancy, and others that are middle-aged or 
nearly worn-out." 

'^ How strange to think of worn-out stars," said 
Harry ; "^^ yet I suppose they must grow old some- 
time, just as we do ; only I suppose they take 
ever so much longer growing up." 

'' Hundreds of years," said Mary, laughing at 
the idea of grown-up stars. " There are young 
stars and old stars, and even the star that gives 
us light and heat will grow cold and dead some 



176 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

/ 

day, and not warm its planets any longer. But 
that will be millions of years hence, long after we 
are dead and gone. 

OUR ISLAND UNIVERSE. 

'^ So it is all over the heavens. Our little uni- 
verse is like an island in space. There are other 
islands like our own, with their milHons of stars 
and star-clusters and star-mist, passing through the 
periods of youth, middle age, old age, and decay. 
Our little universe is not eternal. It cannot last 
forever, but as long as it does we should feel glad 
that we are here to enjoy it. 

^' Now, Harry, I really think we have had quite 
a long ramble in starland for one evening, and 
I believe two little stars I know need a rest." 

^* They are a little tired," said Harry, smiling; 
*' two little worn-out stars, sister ; and perhaps 
they do want to let the curtains down over them 
for awhile." 

** I believe they do," said Mary softly ; and the 
stars were hidden by their curtains almost before 
she had said the words. 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 177 



WYNKEISr, BLYNKEN, AND NOD. 

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, one night 

Sailed off in a wooden shoe — 
Sailed on a river of crystal light 

Into a sea of dew. 
" Where are you going, and what do you wish ? " 

The old man asked of the three. 
'' We have come to fish for the herring-fish 
That live in this beautiful sea. 
Nets of silver and gold have we," 
Said Wynken, 
Blynken, 
And Nod. 

The old Moon laughed and sang a song 

As they rocked in the wooden shoe. 
And the wind that sped them all night long 

Ruffled the waves of dew. 
The little stars were the herring-fish 

That lived in the beautiful sea, 
" Now cast your net wherever you wish, 

Never af eared are we." 

So cried the stars to the fishermen three, 
Wynken, 



And Nod. 



All night long their nets they threw 
For the stars in the twinkling foam; 

Then down from the sky came the wooden shoe, 
Bringing those fishermen home. 



178 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

'Twas all so pretty a tale, it seemed 

As if it conld not be. 
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they dreamed 
Of sailing that beautiful sea. 
But I shall name you the fishermen three, 
Wynken, 
Blynken, 
And j^od. 



Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes, 

And Nod is a little head, 
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies 

Is a wee one's trundle-bed. 
So shut your eyes while mother sings 

Of wonderful sights that be; 
And you shall see the beautiful, things 
As you rock in the mist}^ sea, 
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three, 
Wynken, 
Blynken, 
And Nod. 

— Eugene Field. 



SEVEN LITTLE INDIAN STARS. 

BY MRS. S. M. B. PIATT. 

Seven little Indian boys were they, 
Dancing with the moonbeams on a mound. 

In the wind they all were whirled away. 
And the fireflies searched the dews around. 



STORIES OF THE WINTER STARS. 179 

Seven little Indian stars are they. 

Seven, and only one, my child, is dim. 

That's the Singer, their sad stories say ; 
That's the Singer — let us pity him. 

Oh, the little Singer ! (You can see 

He's not shining as the others are.) 
Once, when all the stars made wishes, he 

Wished he didn't have to be a star. 

—St. Nicholas, March, 1890. 

WHY THE STARS TWINKLE. 

BY OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES. 

When Eve had led her lord away, 

And Cain had killed his brother, 
The stars and flowers, — the poets say, — 

Agreed with one another 

To cheat the cunning tempter's art 

And show the world its duty. 
By keeping on its wicked heart 

Their eyes of love and beauty. 

A million sleepless lids, they say. 

Will be at least a warning ; 
And so the flowers will watch by day, 

The stars from eve to morning. 

On hills and prairies, fields and lawn, 

Their dewy eyes upturning. 
The flowers still watch from reddening dawn 

Till western skies are burning. 



180 STORIES OF STARLAND. 

Alas ! each hour of daylight tells 

A tale of shame so crushing. 
That some turn white as sea-bleached shells, 

And some are always blushing. 

And when the patient stars look down, 

On all their light discovers, 
The traitor's smile, the murderer's frown. 

The lips of lying lovers, 

They try to shut their saddening eyes 

And in the vain endeavor 
We see them twinkling in the skies. 

And so — they wink, — forever. 
— Taken from The Autocrat of the Breakfast- Table, 



-GOD BLESS THE STAR!" 

'* DARLmG, I am feeling so tired this evening, 
won't you sit beside my bed and hold my hand 
in yours while you tell me about the stars ? " 

His sister Mary suggested lighting the lamp 
and reading a story, but he held her hand with 
gentle force, saying : 

- Do not light the lamp. Leave the curtain up 
so that I can see the stars from my window, and 
tell me in your own words that story you told me 
of a star the other day — Dickens' story of a star. 
Don't you remember, sister ? " 

Still holding his little hand in hers, and gi\dng 
it a loving pressure, she rested her head on the 
pillow beside his, and began, in low soft tones : 

'^ There was once a beautiful bright star that 
shone down upon the home of a little boy and 
girl who wondered at its light. They learned to 

191 



182 STORIES OF ST A KL AND. 

know it so well that every evening the one who 
saw it first would say, ' I see the star/ and before 
they went to sleep at night they would say 
^ Good-night ' to the star, and, ' God bless the 
star ! ' 

^' But the little girl, while she was still very 
young, became very weak and feeble, so that she 
was unable to go to the window and look at the 
star, so the brother would stand there alone and 
watch for it. As soon as he saw it he would 
turn round to his sister, and say, ' I see the star,' 
and the little sister would answer gently, ' God 
bless my brother and the star ! ' One evening the 
brother looked at the star alone, for his little sis- 
ter had passed away to her home among the stars. 
That was a sad and lonely evening for the brother, 
and at night he dreamed of his sister. Her face 
seemed to be looking at him from the bright star, 
and he could see a pathway of light reaching from 
it to his room. 

'' Along the pathway were people passing from 
this earth to the stars. Angels waited to receive 
them, and as they reached the star people came 



'' GOD BLESS THE STAR ! " 183 

out to welcome them. Kissing their friends ten- 
derly, they went away together down avenues of 
light. But there was one who waited patiently 
near the entrance of the star and asked the guide 
who led the people thither if her brother had not 
yet come. 

*^ ' Not yet,' he replied kindly, and as she turned 
sadly away the little brother reached out his arms 
toward her, and said, ' Here I am sister ; I am 
coming to you.' 

" As she turned her beaming eyes on him, the 
star was shining into the room, and he could see 
its rays of light through his tears. From that 
hour the child looked on that star as his future 
home, where he would some day meet his angel 
sister again. 

** And he waited, oh ! so patiently, and the 
years rolled slowly by. He grew to manhood, 
and still the star shone down upon him at night. 
Then he grew to be an old man with gray hair 
and wrinkled face, and his steps were slow and 
feeble. Others had gone before him to the star. 
A little brother who died while he was young — 



184 STORIES OF STARLAT^B. 

his mother — his daughter — and now surely his 
own time liad come. 

'' One night he lay upon a bed of sickness, and 
as his children gathered around him he suddenly 
cried out, as he had long ago, ' I "see the star.' 
Then they whispered to each other, ' He is dying,' 
and he heard them, and said : ' I am. My age is 
falling trom me like a mantle, and I move toward 
the star as a child. And, my Father, now I 
thank thee that the star has so often opened to 
receive those dear ones who await me ! ' 

" And next day the star was shining, and it 
still shines, upon his grave." 

Harry had been lulled to sleep by the sound of 
his sister's voice, and in the dim light Mary could 
see that he was smiling in his dreams. Were his 
dreams, she wondered, about Stories of Starland ? 



*'god bless the star! 185 



CROSSING THE BAR. 

Sunset and evening star, 

And one clear call for me ! 
And may there be no moaning of the bar, 

When I put off to sea. 

But such a tide, as, moving, seems asleep, 

Too full for sound and foam, 
When that which drew from out the boundless deep 

Turns again home. 

Twilight and evening bell, 

And after that the dark ! 
And may there be no sadness of farewell. 

When I embark. 

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place 

The flood may bear me far, 
I hope to see my Pilot face to face 

When I have cros' t the bar. 

— Tennyson. 



YE GOLDEN LAMPS OF HEAVEN. 

Ye golden lamps of heaven, farewell, 
With all your feeble light ; 

Farewell, thou ever-changing Moon, 
Pale empress of the Night. 



186 STORIES OF STAELAND. 

And thon, refulgent Orb of Day, 

In brighter flames arraj^ed ; 
My soul, that springs beyond thy sphere, 

'No more demands thine aid. 

Ye stars are but the shining dust 

Of my divine abode. 
The pavement of those heavenly courts 

Where I shall reign with God. 

Father of eternal light 

Shall there his beams display^ 

Nor shall one moment's darkness blend 
With that unvaried day. 

— Philip Doddridge. 



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